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The Spanish boss has ample experience of leading the Latics to safety, but believes that previous seasons count for nothing in this year's fight against the drop

Roberto Martinez believes keeping Wigan up this season will be the toughest challenge he has had to face in his four years at the DW Stadium.

The Spaniard has overseen late escapes from relegation in each of the last two seasons, and will need a repeat performance if his side are to preserve their Premier League status this year.

The Latics were unfortunate to come away from Wednesday’s trip to Manchester City with a 1-0 defeat, a result that leaves them three points from safety with a game in hand.

Although encouraged by the level of his side's performance, Martinez has revealed he is taking nothing for granted and still expects his players to fight for survival.

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"If you watch our performance and think Wigan Athletic are a team in the bottom three you would scratch your head. That brings disappointment," Martinez told Sky Sports.

"We have been in this position before and know what to expect but that doesn't make it easier.

"It is going to be a really tough ending of the season and for me it is the hardest battle we have had for a few years but we are ready for it.

"The performance was as good as it gets but sometimes getting the three points is out of your hands and that was the case.

"We have got things very clear. We need to perform exactly the same as we did here. If we do that the points will come, there are no two ways about it."

Wigan now have six games left to try and pull clear of the relegation zone, as well as the added bonus of an FA Cup final against Wednesday's opponents Manchester City.

"It is a really exciting period with an FA Cup final right in the middle of it," Martinez continued.

"The team is fresh, excited and if we play like last night we will get a lot of points and good moments.

"We don't look at the table. That is something you maybe hear too often but it is the truth.

"We didn't go to Manchester City for a point or damage limitation. We wanted to win and we deserved to win. But we have to learn. When we deserve to win, we have to win."

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