Martinez: Spots up for grabs

Roberto Martinez has told his players to keep performing well to stay in the Wigan Athletic side and has praised Ali Al Habsi for strengthening his case with a fine display for Oman.

Last Updated: 30/03/13 at 14:24 Post Comment

Roberto Martinez: Insists the whole Wigan squad will be needed

Roberto Martinez: Insists the whole Wigan squad will be needed

Al Habsi was left on the bench for Wigan's win over Newcastle United as Martinez kept faith with the side that beat Everton in the FA Cup, meaning another start for Spanish youngster Joel.

But Al Habsi impressed Martinez with the way he played for Oman in a 2-2 draw against Australia in midweek, putting him in contention for a recall against Norwich City on Saturday.

"Ali was fantastic against Australia," Martinez said. "He made six incredible saves from Tim Cahill alone.

"I think that was the Australian tactic, looking for Cahill in the box. But Ali stood up to him well."

Martinez admits he will have to rely on his whole squad for the rest of the season as Wigan battle for Premier League survival and FA Cup glory.

"Every position is for grabs," he stated. "Remember we have at least 10 games in the next seven weeks, and every player is going to be needed.

"Obviously because of the FA Cup run, all of a sudden we have more players fighting for places in the team.

"I'm not going to make the decision on who plays - it will be football that makes the decision.

"That's why I feel the excitement around the place is so different, because everyone knows they absolutely have to be at their best. And at this stage of the season, the rewards are huge.

"Over the next seven weeks there will be moments that will be unique in a player's career."

Martinez may be forced into at least one change this weekend, with Antolin Alcaraz (groin) joining Callum McManaman (ankle) on the injured list.

"It's complicated with Antolin, because he has developed fatigue related to his injury," Martinez added.

"We perhaps should have given him more time."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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