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LATICS MUST quickly forget their remarkable exploits in the FA Cup with Budweiser and focus on their main goal of retaining their npower League One status.

Chairman Simon Corney has already gone on record that he would happily have sacrificed the run to the last 16 of the cup for guaranteeing their place in the divison.

Bearing in mind Latics’ cup run has made the club an estimated £1.2million in additional and unbudgeted revenue, it underlines the importance of staving off the threat of relegation.

Caretaker Manager Tony Philliskirk, who temporarily replaced Paul Dickov in early February, will be looking to build on the cup exploits which saw Latics defeat Championship club Nottingham Forest and Premier League giants Liverpool before losing a fifth-round replay at Everton.

The fact that Latics were the lowest-ranked team to reach the last 16 of the cup underlined the magnitude of their achievements. And the exposure of having three ties televised live also helped considerably to raise the profile of the club.

Philliskirk has used the confidence and believe derived from the cup run to improve fortunes. They defeated MK Dons, Stevenage and Portsmouth in successive league games. Those valuable nine points lifted Latics out of the relegation places.

Latics still remain perilously close to the drop zone which demonstrated how important those victories were and the work which still lies ahead.

They must now try to inch further clear of danger during what will be a challenging March.

Of the six league fixtures scheduled for the month, four are against promotion-chasing sides and two versus teams battling relegation.

Philliskirk describes Latics as having 13 cup finals remaining and basically they need five victories to guarantee safety.

An addition 15 points would take their total to 51 and 50 is usually the benchmark for remaining outside the bottom four clubs.

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