Football - Martinez expecting exciting climax

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez predicts a ferocious fight to the end of the season for the bottom 10 clubs in the Barclays Premier League as they bid to secure their top-flight survival.

PA Sport

Martinez, who has engineered the Latics' safety in the closing stages of the last two seasons, believes this year will see a much tighter finish with several teams battling each other to pass the magic 40-point barrier and secure safety.

Wigan are currently second bottom of the standings ahead of the trip to Stoke, with the visit of Southampton on Saturday a vital game in potentially deciding their future in May.

"This year the bottom 10 positions are really open," Martinez told reporters.

"I know that now people are looking at the table but I don't think it shows the reality of the teams that are involved. There will be a lot of twists and turns from now until the end of the season.

"When you go to he last third of the league season, where you are in the table is just a starting point, but I do believe it is going to be a ferocious fight until the end of the season.

"A lot of teams are going to get involved because if you don't get the 40 points that you need you are going to be fighting to avoid relegation. There are ways of winning football games and everyone will have a say from now until the end of the season."

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