Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has labelled Monday’s clash with Newcastle as a ‘must-win game’ as he lavished praise upon the opposition.
Newcastle have lost their past four Premier League matches and are level with the Lancashire side, as both teams sit just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Alan Pardew’s team suffered a torrid November as they garnered just one point from five Premier League appearances, leaving them in a unfamiliar position, having vied for a Champions League spot last season.
Martinez remains wary of their quality though – particularly offensively, in spite of their paltry goal return of late.
“We need to be aware of Newcastle’s quality. The current team hasn’t changed since last campaign when they did really well to finish where they did and get into European competition,” he said.
“They’ve got two strikers in Demba (Ba) and Papiss Cisse that have had very powerful impact on games. We will give them and their team a lot of respect.”
The Spaniard also spoke of his side’s good performances of late, but emphasised the need to match these efforts with points – something they failed to do against Manchester City last Wednesday.
“The game on Monday against Newcastle has an extra significance to us because we are disappointed about not picking up points against Man City in a game we feel we did well in,” he said.
“It is a must-win game because our standards have been very good and when we are playing like this, we need to pick up points.
“We are anxious to get out onto the pitch again and try to pick up a positive result which we thought we should have got against Man City.
“From our point of view it is a very exciting game to be building up to and a very important one as well.”