Manager John Sheridan wants his side to capitalise on the good home form built up over recent weeks against local rivals Bury on Saturday.
Latics have won four, drawn one and lost one of the six home games since Sheridan’s return and he wants to build on that this weekend.
He said: “We are at home and we’ve done well since I’ve been back at home so I expect us to carry that on.
"I’d rather play in a derby than manage in them! We are both down in a vulnerable position so Bury will be thinking the same as us.
“It’s a massive game because we can gain an advantage on each other and hopefully try and get a bit of an advantage on the teams around us.
"We go into it with it being a derby and a good atmosphere, and it’s two teams who are desperate for the points. I know it’s going to be a tough game.
“There will be tackles and I think it’s important the referee sees that and handles the game knowing it is a derby game."
Whilst a win on Saturday sees Latics go above the Shakers, Sheridan knows the result will not define their season.
“The whole 10 games we have left are a fight for survival. If we lose on Saturday, it doesn’t mean we are going to get relegated but we are at home so I expect us to win,” he commented.
“There are nine games to go after Bury so it doesn’t matter if we win on Saturday because we know that we are still in a vulnerable position so we need to try and get the three points so it gives us that advantage.
"We know if we are winning games we are not going to drop into the bottom four. The lads are playing with a bit of confidence as well.
“I want to build on what we’ve done since I’ve been here so we’ve got to keep that going onto the next 10 games."
A good crowd is expected for Saturday’s local derby and the manager spoke of his appreciation to the supporters.
“I know that we are going to get the support that I want,” he said.
“They got right behind the team last weekend against Walsall especially when we were down to 10 men, I could feel it, the players could feel it and they are trying to get us over the line.
“They don’t need me to tell them it will be a good atmosphere, they are playing their local rivals, they will work with each other and if we can beat them, then it’s good for them to talk about."
Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD.