Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes his side are better equipped than last season to pull off another relegation escape.
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The Latics have become the Premier League's Houdini act under Martinez and they took a significant stride towards safety today following a 3-0 win at fellow strugglers Reading.
It was a first league win of 2013 for Wigan and, more importantly, lifted them above Reading and out of the drop zone for the first time this year.
Arouna Kone's quickfire double at the end of the first half gave them an advantage they quickly made decisive after the break when Maynor Figueroa combined with Franco Di Santo for the defender to net a rare goal.
Reading's afternoon quickly deteriorated and when Pavel Pogrebnyak saw red on 55 minutes the visitors were already banking a win to inspire belief they are again on course to beat the drop.
"We are disappointed with the points tally that we have got. We need to get more points on a consistent basis," Martinez said.
"Today we came into a game which is a massive, massive relegation battle I thought we were composed and able to enjoy our football.
"We limited Reading to no shots on goal in the game and that is a real compliment.
"The quality of our attacking play was also a real difference.
"We've been showing that this season but we've never had that clinical way of defending and keeping a clean sheet. That's why I am so pleased with the performance."
Wigan defied the odds to stay up last season when they won five of their last six games - including successes over Arsenal and Manchester United.
The scale of those heroics are unlikely to be required again this time around, and in any case Martinez believes his team are better prepared to tackle a relegation scrap.
"I think we've played much better than last season," he said.
"I think we've been very consistent in terms of performances.
"We've improved in every department from being able to keep clean sheets and defend well.
"In football you are as good as your results and unfortunately we haven't been able to represent our performances with results.
"Probably that's why I am so pleased today. We defended really well and we stopped them at source.
"That allowed us to keep a clean sheet.
"You look at the goals as well. The first is a set-piece but the two after are as good as you are going to see.
"If we had have done that previously in the season we would be in a much better position."
Reading boss Brian McDermott admitted his side had endured a "bad day" but said Kone's opener should not have stood due to a handball from Gary Caldwell in the build-up.
McDermott claimed the Scotland defender had admitted to him he had touched the ball before it broke for Figueroa, whose goal-bound shot went in off Kone's back.
"It definitely should not have been given," he said.
"I just spoke to Caldwell and he said himself he's handballed it. He knows he's handballed it.
"Unfortunately the ref hasn't seen it.
"It was a bad day. They've had a good day and we've had a bad day."
Reading did have their chances to go ahead after controlling possession before Kone's double strike.
Hope Akpan headed over unmarked while Jimmy Kebe lashed an angled shot into the side-netting before Wigan got going.
"The first 43 minutes there wasn't too much in the game," McDermott said.
"If Jimmy scores then maybe it's a different game. The goal changes the game.
"They got a real spring in their step once they scored.
"But we didn't do the right things at the right time. We didn't get the details right.
"There are plenty of things you can look at. I'm going to move on quickly from that game.
"It's the only thing you can do in a situation like that.
"We've got 11 games to go now. We'll have a lot of good days in those 11 hopefully."