Kevin Kilbane believes Wigan's home comforts could prove crucial in securing a future in the Premier League.
The Latics are among a number of teams battling against the drop this season and they host fellow strugglers Birmingham on Saturday.
And ahead of the visit of the Blues, midfielder Kilbane - who has played a large part of the season at left-back - is hopeful that 16th-placed Wigan can continue to build on their strong JJB Stadium form.
Wigan have lost five times at home this season, but that record can only be matched by Birmingham and Sunderland among the teams who are fighting relegation and Kilbane is confident that will be the key in maintaining top-flight status.
"If we win on Saturday, it would go a long way towards us staying up but we still wouldn't get carried away," Kilbane said in the Wigan Evening Post.
"I wouldn't quite call it a must-win game but a victory could certainly help us over the coming weeks.
"Our away record has been very poor, yet last year it was half decent. We were grinding out results.
"We haven't been able to do that this time. We've looked more solid at our place, been a lot harder to beat and hopefully it can continue that way.
"Last season, away results probably kept us up - this season it will be our home form which will be the key."
And Kilbane is hopeful Wigan manager Steve Bruce, who spent six years in the St Andrews hot-seat, will possess the necessary inside knowledge on Birmingham to bring about the Blues' downfall at the weekend.
"The Birmingham game is a big one," Kilbane added. "They'll come here with a bit of confidence and we have to be ready for that.
"If we can get into them from the start, we have the firepower to score some goals and get a result.
"The boss will obviously know more than enough about them to know what Birmingham are good at and what they're not."