Steve Gohouri is hoping a run in the Wigan team can help earn him a contract extension and a ticket to the World Cup.
The Ivory Coast international joined the Latics on a short-term deal in January from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach but has only featured twice for Roberto Martinez's side.
However, first-choice centre-half Gary Caldwell's red card in Wigan's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City on Monday has paved the way for Gohouri to make his first start in English football.
Caldwell will begin a three-match ban starting away to Fulham on Sunday with Gohouri ready to grab his opportunity as Wigan look to steer clear of relegation.
"It's a dream of mine to play at the World Cup," Gohouri told the Daily Express. "But first I have to help Wigan stay up and earn myself a new contract.
"To do that I need to impress and hopefully I will do that in the remaining six games."
Wigan are four points above the drop-zone but have played one game more than relegation zone occupants Hull City with three relegation head-to-heads yet to come.
The Latics, who have shipped 62 goals this season, have still to host home games to Portsmouth and Hull while an away trip to West Ham could also prove crucial.
Gohouri, 29, may not have had chance to impress on the pitch but he has at least caught Martinez's eye in training and the Spaniard feels he could have a key part to play in their survival bid.
"He is a great character, has a great attitude, great experience, great communication skills and he stepped in really well," said Martinez.
"Being an international player he also has the know-how of playing in big games, and that will be invaluable for us now.
"He is trying to get into the Ivory Coast World Cup squad for this summer, and we'll sit down at the end of the season and assess the situation."