Ahead of the final regular game of the season, James McArthur says momentum will be needed to make a strong start to the play-offs.
Meetings between Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers have produced some of the most exciting and tense games of recent seasons, with “plenty to shout about for neutral supporters”, says James McArthur.
This weekend’s visit to Ewood Park is Latics’ first since the Premier League survival clinching game in May 2012 and the midfielder added that no matter how the game goes, the most important thing is to win at all costs and maintain momentum heading into the play-offs.
“As long as we win I don’t mind how the game goes, we’ll do whatever it takes to win and I think we showed that against Birmingham, particularly in the second half.
“The last time we played Blackburn at Ewood Park was also one of those games that we needed to do whatever it took to win.
“That night was incredible because we beat a rival in the Premier League and stayed up, but it’s just one of many really good games against Blackburn.
“We drew 3-3 earlier in that same season and Yakubu scored in the last minute, it was certainly entertaining for the neutral.
“This time we’ve got it all to play for again because we need to continue our hard work and make sure that we win so we can head into the play-offs with momentum.”
Although McArthur admitted it was a relief to book Latics’ play-off place on Tuesday night against Birmingham City, he said the feeling in the camp is more about determination to succeed.
“There was a bit of relief in the fact that we got over the line and into the play-offs because we had a couple of bad performances.
“The overriding feeling isn’t relief though, it’s determination to continue.
“It’s almost like we’re entering a new season, the hope and determination to be successful is the atmosphere around the place.”
“We’re heading into knockout football and let’s be honest we’re quite good at knockout football.
“The first game is over two legs, but we’ve shown in the FA Cup over the last two seasons that we can get the job done when it comes to these types of games.
“Before we can think too much about it though, we have a job to do in our final regular league game and we’re 100% focused on winning against Blackburn.”