LEEDS United head coach Neil Redfearn insists Saturday’s Championship hosts Wigan Athletic are due an elusive home win and has stressed: “we’ve got to make sure it’s not against us.”
The Latics have not won at home since August yet Malky Mackay’s side approach this weekend’s fixture following back to back wins at Blackpool and Norwich City.
Third-bottom Wigan remain six points off safety and 13 points behind 15th-placed United but Redfearn has warned that Saturday’s fixture will be quite literally no walk in the park.
The head coach says the poor state of the surface at Wigan’s DW Stadium owing to rugby league usage could make life difficult and has urged his Whites to be acutely aware of not becoming the first side to lose at Wigan since Birmingham at the end of August.
Redfearn warned: “Wigan are due to win one at home and we’ve got to make sure it’s not against us. We’ve got to be right on it. I think it’s going to be a tough game.
“I think the surface is going to make it difficult and Wigan are fighting for their lives and doing it well.
“They’ve picked up their results and particularly on their travels they have been excellent.
“We can’t give them any quarter and we’ve got to make sure we are right on our game and that we are strong.
“If we can win the game, win it, and if we can’t win it then don’t get beat.”
Victory would take United 16 points clear of the dropzone whereas defeat would narrow the gap to ten points but Redfearn said: “I think now we are looking up and the game is a chance to catch some sides above us.
“If we get a result on Saturday and results go for us we can move up two or three places and I think that’s what we’ve got to do.
“We’ve got to climb the table. The sooner we can get in the top ten the better.
“We’ve got to look at the sides in and around us and try and make some ground on them so it looks a lot better for next season.”
United approach the game following Wednesday night’s 2-1 defeat of promotion-chasing Ipswich Town at Elland Road yet the Whites are still 17 points behind sixth-placed Brentford.
Asked if there was any hope at all of still reaching the play-offs Redfearn mused: “There’s 11 games and 33 points to play for so there’s a lot of points to play for.
“I’m not saying we are going to get in the play-offs by any stretch of the imagination but we want to finish as high as we can and while there’s points to play for, we want to try and get every one.”