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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

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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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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

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