Martinez wants top-10 finish

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes a top-10 Barclays Premier League finish is a realistic target for the team.

Last Updated: 15/11/12 at 17:01 Post Comment   

Martinez: Eyeing a top-10 finish

Martinez: Eyeing a top-10 finish

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes a top-10 Barclays Premier League finish is a realistic target for the team this season - if they can ensure they get the positive results he feels their efforts are meriting.

The Latics are currently 14th in the table on 11 points after 11 games, three points away from 10th.

Earlier this week, their chairman Dave Whelan spoke confidently about the prospect of Wigan finishing in the top half this term, something Martinez can see happening.

The Spaniard has been keen to stress, though, how important it is for his side - who he thinks are playing well - to convert performances into points as they strive towards that goal.

Speaking at a press conference today to preview Saturday's league clash with Liverpool at Anfield, Martinez said: "It has been a good start to the season in terms of the way we are playing.

"I think we have been able to carry on with the level we showed last season (which Wigan finished with seven wins from nine games).

"But I don't think we are there yet in terms of getting the results our performances deserve, and that is something we need to work on.

"Sometimes it is not good just to play well - we need to play well and get the positive results.

"The moment we do that, we are capable of finishing in the top half of the table, but at the moment, I think we need to work extremely hard on certain aspects to be able to look at that."

Whelan had been talking about Wigan's aims earlier this week at the North West Football Awards, where he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

The 75-year-old took control of the Latics - now in their eighth successive Premier League season - in 1995 when they were a fourth-tier outfit, and Martinez has no doubt that Whelan's award is well-deserved.

"I think what he has done is an incredible football journey," Martinez said.

"All his life he has been involved in football, but he has always made a difference wherever he has been involved.

"It was a well-deserved award and moment, and I know there are still many good chapters to come from him.

"I don't think there is anyone in the north-west who deserves it as much as he does and we were all very proud of him."

Meanwhile, Martinez has confirmed that winger Ryo Miyaichi, on loan from Arsenal, will be available for the Liverpool contest.

Miyaichi has not been involved in the past five games due to a pubic injury but is now back training with the group.

James McArthur, who has been sidelined recently by a dead leg, is a doubt, while fellow midfielder Albert Crusat (knee) and defender Antolin Alcaraz (groin) are not yet ready to return.

Giving a general injury update, Martinez said: "Ryo Miyaichi had a fantastic week of work with the group and is fully recovered, so that is very exciting.

"With James McArthur, we had the scans back and there is no further damage, so we hope he is going to be fully recovered over the next few days.

"It is a bit too early to say about Saturday - I'm not ruling him out yet.

"Albert Crusat we are sending to the specialist and that will be probably another two to three weeks. His knee problem is still giving him some trouble.

"We have had really good news with Antolin Alcaraz. He has started to run in straight lines and is on the pitch now, so we are very pleased with that.

"Maybe a couple of weeks. It will be great to see him back with the group."


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