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Al Habsi backed by Martinez

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has handed goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi a vote of confidence.

Last Updated: 30/11/12 at 16:24 Post Comment

Ali Al Habsi: Wigan goalkeeper allows Reading to score last weekend

Ali Al Habsi: Wigan goalkeeper allows Reading to score last weekend

The 30-year-old Oman international, who signed for the Latics last year following a season-long loan from Bolton, has made two errors in his last two matches.

His blunder allowed Reading to make it 2-2 last weekend before Jordi Gomez's late winner spared his blushes, and he then failed to collect Gareth Barry's shot before Mario Balotelli fired Manchester City ahead in midweek.

However, Martinez said: "I don't think it was an error against Manchester City. Ali in my eyes is one of the best in this league.

"Sometimes you expect Ali to save the unstoppable and that's very unfair.

"The shot from Gareth Barry was moving away a little bit and he came up with a world class save in the rebound but the unfortunate point is that the ball bounced straight into the striker's path and not the defender's path.

"I don't think that's a mistake at all. That's a little bit of misfortune.

"This new ball is quite tough for goalkeepers. His reaction for the first save was outstanding."

Martinez is confident Al Habsi will be fully focused again for Monday's trip to Newcastle.

"Ali is such a confident player and internally he is a very strong human being. I would say his mental strength is his biggest quality," said Martinez.

"As a goalkeeper you need to be able to move on from action to action and he is not affected by that. It's not a confidence issue at all."

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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