Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez is confident his side can maintain their encouraging 2013 away form when they travel to fellow relegation candidates QPR.
Wigan have lost just one game on the road since the turn of the year - against Chelsea in February - but despite this impressive record, Martinez knows not to take Harry Redknapp’s men for granted.
A win for the Latics would see them move ten points clear of 19th-placed QPR and possibly three points clear of the relegation zone.
“There has been much talk of QPR’s situation because people are guided by the league table and the form they have shown throughout the season,” Martinez told Wigan’s official website.
“But for me this QPR side is completely different from the one back in August; they are in a good moment of form at home with just one defeat in their last five games at Loftus Road, and are starting to build some good momentum, especially in their forward play.
“The attacking play they’ve shown in the last few games has been as good as anyone’s in the Barclays Premier League and they’ll make for a very difficult game for us. Loftus Road can be a testing environment to go and play, but we have to stay focused on being ourselves and showing the away form that has served us well this season.”
In the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign at the DW Stadium, Wigan came from behind to draw 2-2 courtesy of two goals from James McCarthy.
“Sunday’s is a massive game for us; we’ve got eight games remaining in the league, so we’re nearing the end of the season when the points tally becomes more acute and the need to take points increases,” Martinez continued.
“Away from home this season we’ve been very competitive, strong, and shown good personality on the pitch, which has allowed us to take control of games.
“That’s a sign of maturity and in the final five away games of the competition it’s important that we maintain those levels.”
“There’s no real difference to the situation we had before the Norwich game, apart from the recovery of Callum [McManaman] who has had a slight ankle problem in recent weeks.
“The next game for us after QPR happens to be the semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley, so it’s fair to say that everyone has been performing to try and be an important member of the team in the final stages of the season.”