Wigan boss Bruce targets five more wins

Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce says they need to win five more games to stay up after their defeat of West Ham.

"That's 15 points from 11 games since I've been here, and that is a good return, enough to keep us in the Premier League," assessed Bruce. "The question now is: can we maintain it? We've 13 matches left, and if we can get another 15 points, I think that will be enough to see us safe.

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"They've shown to me they've got something about them, and again today they've given everything they've got."

Kevin Kilbane was the match-winner, looping a header over stranded Hammers goalkeeper Robert Green in the dying seconds of first-half injury time from a raking free-kick by Ryan Taylor.

It was only Kilbane's second goal for the club in 60 appearances, and his first for almost 10 months, with the Republic of Ireland international winning plaudits from Bruce.

"I would love to say the goal was well rehearsed on the training ground, but we've not been there for three weeks because it has been flooded," added Bruce.

"Despite that it was a great delivery from Ryan, and Kevin has used a bit of initiative.

"The one thing about him is that he is a top-class professional who never moans or groans. He just gets on with it.

"That's why he's had the career he's had because he is one of those steady eddies who anybody would welcome in their dressing room."

On what Bruce described as "a tip of a pitch", it was Wigan who mastered the conditions the better as the Hammers struggled, in particular after the energy consumed in their midweek win over Liverpool.

Bruce feels that played its part as he said: "To be fair we've played like that at home for the last few weeks.

"We didn't do well at Middlesbrough (losing 1-0 on Tuesday), but I have to give them credit as they adapted to the conditions which are not easy to play any kind of football in.

"It was probably good to play West Ham after their heroics against Liverpool in midweek, in particular coming up here and playing on that pitch."

Hammers boss Alan Curbishley also waded in, describing it as "an embarrassment".

He added: "It is very difficult, and I don't know whose fault it is, but I don't think the Premier League are used to it.

"For anybody coming here they have to get used to it because it is a big factor and you find yourself punting the ball long.

"But I thought it was always going to be a tight game, a scrappy, hard-fought contest, yet after the result in midweek we're massively disappointed.

"I'm sure Wigan are absolutely delighted with the three points, and I hope it does them the world of good."

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