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Johnson's challenge

19 April 2013

Let's finish the season on a high - manager

Lee Johnson admits the heat remains on Latics until they are mathematically safe from the threat of relegation.

As Latics prepare for tomorrow's visit of Crawley Town, they still need to collect one point from their three remaining games to guarantee staying in npower League One.

Latics' manager (pictured) said: "The pressure remains very much on. There are five games which can seal our fate either way and three of them are in our own hands.

"We have to make sure we take our chance, get over the line and secure League One status for next season.

"It would nice to achieve safety tomorrow in our last home game of the season so the players get a good send off from our crowd which they will get if we collect the required number of points to stay in the division."

Johnson wants to build on the back-to-back victories against Bury and Yeovil Town.

"Let's get the performances and finish the season on a high to take us into next season," he said.

Crawley, who will be paying their first-ever visit to Boundary Park, are a side which has impressed Latics' manager.

He said: "They are a good side and they have settled well in this division having won promotion.

"And next season I fully expect them to push for the top six properly, even though they have flirted with it this season."

Johnson added that their meteoric rise from non-league football has been reminiscent of Yeovil's exploits when his father managed them in his first spell at Huish Park.

He also pointed he had worked with Steve Coppell, Crawley's director of football/technical director, when he was at Bristol City while manager Richie Barker has also done a good job as manager.

Johnson also explained why he gave the captain's armband to Robbie Simpson following the loss of James Wesolowski through injury.

He said: "Robbie is good around the club and he is a captain in his game.

"He was a natural choice because of his demeanour behind the scenes and you see he is willing in his game.

"Robbie has bought into what I am trying to do and he has been a soldier. You would take him in the trenches.

"If you had to pick three or four players to go into war with, Robbie would be one of them which is why I thought it was right for him to be captain."

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