The fact Wigan Athletic are anchored to the foot of the Premier League means absolutely nothing ahead of the clash at the DW Stadium, says Gareth Barry.
December’s Etihad Player of the Month believes the Blues need to be at the top of their game to see off the Latics, despite the hosts having won just one of their ten home games this season.
Following back-to-back defeats in the FA Cup and Carling Cup, Barry reckons this is a must-win game for City.
“We need to get together and put a big team performance on Monday night,” he said. “Wigan can be a funny sort of side - sometimes they can perform really well and there are other times when they just aren’t at the races.
“It’s one of those games where we know that we have to concentrate on what we do above all else and perform to our highest ability, because if Wigan turn up on the day and play their best game it’s going to be very tough.
“They’ve got some players with flair so maybe they’ll try and take the game to us. They are the home team so the onus should be on them, but sometimes it doesn’t work like that.
We have to be ready for anything that’s thrown at us but rest assured, we won’t be going there thinking we just have to turn up to win the game, that’s for sure
Barry believes the City fans will have a part to play, too, with the Blues attempting to return to winning ways having taken just one point from a possible nine on the road in the last three games.
With more than 5,000 travelling supporters, Barry is expecting the Blue Army to make the short trip to Wigan feel more like a home game.
He said: “We’re lucky that it’s just down the road and our fans always turn out in numbers so we’ll have great support there. It’s down to us now to get a positive result and make their journey worthwhile.
“We know people will be watching us at Wigan to see how we do and how we respond to this sticky patch we’re in. If that means going there and not playing great football but winning, we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves and do that.
“It’s impossible to dominate the whole league playing fantastic football and winning by three or four goals every game. Everyone in the dressing rooms needs to roll their sleeves up so we can get back to winning ways ahead of the Spurs match.“