Wigan defender Emmerson Boyce admits he would rather the team be playing badly and winning than the reverse but remains confident they can escape relegation.
The Latics are without a win since December 10, during which time they have picked up just four points from nine matches.
They are bottom of the table, five points from safety, and make the short trip to near-neighbours Bolton, just two places above them, for a match Boyce accepts neither team can afford to lose. "We need to start picking up the three points now because we are getting too far behind," the 32-year-old told Latics Player.
"We are bottom of the league and even though we are playing well we need to start picking up results because I'd rather be playing badly and picking up the points to move us up the table.
"We have been through it many times in the last couple of years and we need to learn from it and not get cast adrift so quickly. The last couple of seasons we have pulled ourselves clear so we are still confident we can get results.
"If we play like we did (in the weekend's 1-1 draw against Everton) for the rest of the season I am sure we will pick up the points we need. But Bolton is a massive game which neither side can afford to lose, but we can go there full of confidence after our result.
"We look at it as a game we need to win. There is a big confidence, we just need to learn how to grind out results now. Our heads are up and we can't wait for the next game to come along."
Midfielder James McCarthy insists confidence is not a problem within the squad, despite having won just three matches all season.
"The mood in the camp is still great. We're all battling to stay up and there are still 14 games to go," he said. "The gaffer instils confidence in us week in, week out in training and that won't change.
"If we can end the season as strongly as we did last season and the season before we'll be fine. The weekend will be massive. It's a derby and we know that we need to take maximum points as they are just ahead of us."