Rosler hails Wigan's hunger
Wigan's squad may have different reasons for wanting to play in the Barclays Premier League next season, but Uwe Rosler insists their united hunger to do so is the driving force behind their incredible run.
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Latics were only relegated last May after eight seasons in the top flight but there has been a large turnover since Roberto Martinez's FA Cup winners were sent in to the second tier.
Rosler's current crop includes players who were part of last season's group - such as captain Emmerson Boyce and Ben Watson - but there are also loanees such as Nick Powell and Nicky Maynard, who are determined to prove to their Premier League parent clubs they are worthy of consideration with England's elite.
"We have a good blend in our squad," said the Wigan boss, whose men have embarked on an eight-game winning sequence to propel themselves firmly into the play-off picture.
"It was important to bring some younger players in, like we did in January. Now we have a great blend between players who have been there and desperately want to go back, and we have players who have never been there and want to desperately be on that journey. The manager has never been there and has tried to get everything to go up there.
"To achieve our goal it's a lot about determination, hunger, desire, every single day - push, push, push until we get there.
"You only create that when you have a balance like we have at the moment. Some players know how nice it is up there and they want to go back there. They see now younger players coming in and pushing for places and they know what it takes to make sure they're staying in the team.
"It's a great blend of different ages and different characters with everybody aiming for only one thing - to win promotion. I'm not talking only about players - it starts from the chairman (Dave Whelan) or me, into the team. They talk about winning promotion and that first step is getting into the play-offs and then addressing what's put in front us. We want to go back there, desperately."
That promotion push has run alongside Wigan's FA Cup defence, which will next month take them back to Wembley where they will meet Arsenal and aim to knock out a fourth top-flight club this term.
After beating Crystal Palace and Cardiff, Wigan eliminated Manchester City in the quarter-finals, and Rosler admitted: "It did us the world of good when you kick out three Premier League clubs and had a highlight like the Manchester City game.
"Then, winning on Wednesday (against Sheffield Wednesday), in what was a massive banana skin - you can only take positive things."
No side in the division has better form than Wigan at the moment and if their current momentum is maintained, an automatic promotion spot could be realised.
They are currently 15 points behind second-placed Burnley with 12 games to go, yet they have played two matches fewer than Sean Dyche's team and still have to face them in the run-in.
Even so, Rosler thinks it is a step too far to think they can overhaul the Clarets, even if their top scorer Danny Ings may face a prolonged spell on the sidelines because of an ankle ligament injury.
"I looked at Burnley's fixture list and, knowing about how solid they are, I think it's very difficult," Rosler conceded.
"We have to make sure we are looking now to Yeovil, keeping our two points plus per game. That is our biggest target."