Now we’re into the closing stages of the season, Premier League clubs are scrambling to climb into the top four or break out the bottom three.
It is also the time that Roberto Martinez and Wigan Athletic begin their annual fight against relegation - something they've miraculously avoided in recent seasons - before completing another 'great escape'.
With Wigan, it is almost like Groundhog Day at this time of the season when the club inevitably prevail thanks to their positive attitude, which is maintained by their likeable manager Martinez.
Despite this positivity there is no doubt that the season has not quite gone to plan and once again Wigan find themselves in trouble. This weekend’s home meeting with Newcastle United marked the beginning of Wigan’s attempt to escape the dreaded bottom three.
Newcastle like Wigan, have had a less than stellar season - a complete opposite of the bright one they had last year, which saw them briefly challenge for a top four spot.
Manager Alan Pardew admitted that the side are struggling to keep up their form and the trip to Wigan, who have had an impressive run in the FA Cup, was a harder match than Newcastle may have anticipated.
Both Newcastle and Wigan entered the must-win game in bright spirits - Wigan riding high following their FA Cup victory over Everton but under no illusion about the gravity of the day’s game.
Fellow relegation-favourites QPR - who lost 3-2 to Aston Villa on Saturday - have an easier set of fixtures, save a visit from Arsenal, and if they were to capitalise on their easy fixtures, the R's could escape the drop-zone. While QPR escaping relegation is a big ask, you only need to look at their shocking results this season to see that it is plausible enough to make Wigan worry and, with an easier run, QPR could prove a problem for Martinez’s side.
Therefore it was even more vital for Wigan to capitalise on their recent form and earn three points against Newcastle. Despite some controversial moments - namely Callum McManaman's tackle on Massadio Haidara - the home side nicked a goal at the last minute, earning them a 2-1 win.
The scrappy and often nervy performance sealed a much-needed three points which Martinez hopes will set them on the road to recovery. However, the bottom of the table is as tight as the top and whether Martinez and his men can pull off the impossible again remains to be seen.
Wigan are still in the relegation battle but with teams such as Aston Villa above them and QPR below them there is everything to play for in the battle to survive.
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