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Wigan momentum not a concern

Aston Villa FanZoner Tom Davis believes the club should not be concerned about Wigan's FA Cup win despite momentum swinging in their favour.

Last Updated: 13/05/13 at 14:11 Post Comment

Wigan: Embroiled in a relegation battle

Wigan: Embroiled in a relegation battle

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Wigan's cup victory against Man City could be a concern.

The Latics claimed their first major trophy in the club's history with a 1-0 win late on in the game whilst a few hours earlier we squandered a lead at home to Chelsea to keep us stuck on fourty points.

It could now all rest on the final game of the season, which was not the scenario we wanted.

Has the pendulum swung in their favour? History suggests so.

No team that has emerged victorious in the FA Cup has been relegated in the same season. Wigan now have a huge fixture against Arsenal on Tuesday and defeat could all but end their hopes of safety in the league. But this cup victory could be the inspiration they need to keep them up, especially after winning in such style.

On a regular day you would probably back Arsenal to win, especially given the importance of that tie in terms of their European aspirations. But Tuesday is no regular day. Wigan know they must earn three points and they will be fearless in their task of doing so. They have also been here before, facing similar circumstances in last season's away trip to Arsenal.

Back then, they were embroiled in a relegation battle as they were all season. They entered the game on the back of three wins out of four in the weeks prior, leaving them brimming with confidence. They then travelled to the Emirates - to a club in a desperate fight for fourth with local rivals,Tottenham. It all sounds very familiar.

They won that game 2-1.

Defeat to Chelsea was a cruel way to end the season at home given our initial comfortable lead, with the dismissal of Christian Benteke an obvious turning point. The two goals that followed were almost as inevitable as Frank Lampard notching a brace to break Bobby Tambling's scoring record. We will now travel to Wigan without Benteke leading the line - a player who has scored 42% of our league goals this season.

Should we be concerned if our season rests on the final game of the league on Sunday? Probably, but it shouldn't affect our performance. There is one thing this experience has given the club and that is unity, which can be enough to make the difference to any team needing the points when it counts.

When we slid into 19th position in the league at the start of February, things could have got ugly.

However, from the seven home games that followed we generated a rise in average points won (1.42 compared to 0.83 before) and a rise in attendances (37,267 compared to 33,771 before). This sort of togetherness and support has summed up the change in atmosphere at the club this season and it is this

attitude that will help us over the line should we need one final push against Wigan.

That message of unity has been no greater emphasised than support for our captain and his battle with acute leukaemia. It is fitting that the trip to Wigan has been declared 'Stiliyan Petrov day' as fans show their support by sporting t-shirts, masks and parading banners. I just hope we can enjoy the day and the send-off Petrov deserves without taking part in a nail-biting finale.

Wigan's cup victory against Man City was not a concern for the club and the pendulum has not swung in their favour. Survival is still very much in our own hands should it rest on the final day, but barring a miracle for Wigan, you would expect our own safety to be secure regardless of that result. Having said that...come on you Gunners!

By Tom Davis, FanZone's Aston Villa blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @tomdav1991 - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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