"We need to beat teams around us!" - Wigan defender desperate to beat Leeds

DW Stadium - Wigan Athletic

Wigan defender Emmerson Boyce is desperate for three points against Leeds on Boxing Day.

The busy Christmas period is upon us, with a full fixture list on Boxing Day. Teams will be looking to pick up points to help their respective battles for promotion and against relegation, and Wigan Athletic certainly fall into the latter category.

It's all gone horribly wrong for the Latics this season, with Malky Mackay inheriting a side rooted in the drop zone following Uwe Rosler's struggles.

Wigan sit second bottom in the Championship, just four points clear of bottom side Blackpool and six adrift of safety after losing 2-1 to fellow strugglers Rotherham on Saturday.

Now, Wigan get the chance to close the gap on one of their rivals at the wrong end of the table when they face 18th place Leeds United at Elland Road - and defender Emmerson Boyce admits that he's treating the game like a six-pointer, with Wigan desperately needing to make ground on the teams around them.

"Leeds will be a hard team to play against, but they find themselves at the bottom as well," said Boyce. "We’ve got to make sure we start picking up points against the teams around us in the table."

"We’d like to be looking at the teams who are aiming for the play-offs as rivals. But we have to be realistic, and start grinding out results against the teams who are our direct opponents," he added.

Leeds lie just five points clear of the relegation zone, and a Wigan victory would really plunge Neil Redfearn's side into the mire - but with just three wins this season and four defeats in a row, Wigan are certainly the underdogs.

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