Captain Gary Caldwell insists Wigan can put the huge disappointment of Tuesday night’s loss to Swansea behind them and focus on upsetting Manchester City to win the FA Cup.
The 3-2 defeat at the DW Stadium left the Latics three points adrift of Barclays Premier League safety with two games to play.
That could be six points once Wigan resume their league campaign against Arsenal next Tuesday, and their predicament is bound to cast a cloud over Saturday’s trip to Wembley.
But Caldwell believes playing without pressure as the big underdogs is just what the squad needs ahead of what is sure to be a fraught final week.
He said: “I think [getting over last night] is the challenge we’re going to have in the next couple of days. We were in this morning and discussed last night, went over what happened and put it to bed and started focusing on the cup final.
“It was obviously a big blow to us in terms of the league but we know there’s still a long way to go in that and we’ll resume that next week, and we can fully concentrate on the FA Cup final in the next couple of days.
“The league has so much pressure with it. Now we can switch off from that and really get in the mood of the cup, really enjoy the occasion and just go and give our best and try to get a result against a great side, the team that won the league last year, full of great players.
“There’s no expectation on us. We can go and play with a real freedom and try to cause an upset.”
The Latics had the majority of the chances against out-of-form opponents and led twice only for defensive calamities to hand Swansea two goals.
Caldwell knows Premier League survival remains the overwhelming priority, and he believes Wigan’s previous narrow escapes can help them achieve it.
He said: “We know last night was a blow. I think a win would have put a lot of teams under a lot of pressure but there’s still a long way to go.
“I think we’ve been over the course and distance before. A couple of years ago we were 2-0 down to West Ham and all but down and suddenly came back to win 3-2. Then we won our last game and finished comfortably outside the relegation zone.
“There’s a lot of twists and turns yet and, as of next week, we’ll focus on the Arsenal game and the Villa game and try to get as many points as we can to secure our survival.
“The good thing about our past few seasons is we have that to call upon, we know what it takes.
“Last night was a big down, but it’s not over.”