Norwich City clash is priority for Wigan Athletic’s Antolin Alcaraz

Wigan Athletic defender Antolin Alcaraz insists the FA Cup semi-finalists should not look beyond the Premier League visit of Norwich City – with top-flight survival the club's piority.

The Latics are third from bottom, seven points and six places behind the Canaries with a game in hand as they prepare to meet at the DW Stadium on Saturday (3pm).

Wigan have become the masters of survival, finishing in the bottom six in the Premier League four times in seven seasons since promotion in 2005, but never going down.

And Alcaraz, back in the side after six months out with a groin problem, believes they must put all thought of their Wembley semi-final date against Millwall on April 13 to one side and concentrate on the first of nine league games that will decide their fate.

'We have Wembley to look forward to, but for me the most important game is always the next one and that is Norwich City,' said the Paraguayan.


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'We will worry about the FA Cup when it comes around next month. For now we must concentrate on the league because there are some important games coming up.

'We have shown in the last few games that we can win games in this league, and we must keep that up if we are to move away from the bottom of the table.'

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Alcaraz has made four appearances since returning to the side, including the 3-0 FA Cup quarter-final win at Everton, but the 30-year-old told the Wigan Evening Post he was still feeling his way back to avoid suffering a setback.

'It's going great at the moment, although in the last game I did feel a bit of pain from the old injury,' he said.

'I think it was because I had played a few games in such a short space of time, and my body is perhaps not used to that kind of intensity. But it's normal to experience that after being out for so long.

'I know my body and I won't overdo it. I won't force anything because it's only two weeks since I've been back.

'Overall it's going well. The team is playing with a lot of confidence at the moment, the results have been good and we are looking forward to the games ahead.'

He added: 'My season only really started two weeks ago. Everything before that, I have forgotten about because it was not so good. Fortunately there is still time for me to make a difference.'

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