Wigan Athletic are four points better off than they were this time last season. Hovering precariously just above the drop zone in 17th, Latics can take heart knowing they have been in this position before.
The great escape last term in which they beat the super powers of Manchester United (check out Shaun Maloney's crucial winner in the above video), Liverpool and Arsenal in the final few games showed the character of the club, and that spirit will be needed in a similar way this time.
After 27 games in the 2011/12 season, Latics were rock bottom on 20 points compared to 17th and 24 points this term. As eluded to earlier, Wigan have scored more goals and boast 10 more than at this same stage last season.
The perennial survivors continue to defy the odds and having battled it out in five of their previous seven campaigns (twice they have finished mid-table 10th in their first season, 2005/06 and 11th in 2008/09), they are set to do it all over again.
Although Martinez doesn't have that star player who can pull something out of the bag like when they had Victor Moses or Charles N'Zogbia for example, they do seem to have possibly their strongest squad and starting X1 than in any previous EPL season, and this factor may be critical.