Search

Pass masters sure to test City

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 06 July 2010

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is surprised at how well his squad have adapted to the change of emphasis he has instigated within the club - a new approach that is sure to make life tough for Norwich City onSaturday.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is surprised at how well his squad have adapted to the change of emphasis he has instigated within the club - a new approach that is sure to make life tough for Norwich City onSaturday.

The Canaries entertain the top-flight side in their final pre-season friendly of the summer, and there's absolutely no doubt that their unbeaten run will come under severe threat against the Latics.

Martinez, who built a reputation for flowing, attractive football with Coca-Cola Championship side Swansea, has spent most of pre-season passing on his theories on how he wants the game to be played.

He inherited a group of players who have established themselves in the Premier League under the guidance of former manager Steve Bruce before he left to join Sunderland.

During the 18 months Bruce was in charge he made the Latics difficult to beat while allowing a limited amount of flair in their play.

Martinez has sought to change the mentality and he signed Jordi Gomez and Jason Scotland, both players he had worked with at Swansea, to assist the transition.

OnTuesday evening Wigan recorded their first friendly victory of the summer, 4-1 at Championship side Preston, but it was the manner of the performance which pleased the manager most.

"From day one the approach from the players has been unbelievable - and I didn't expect that," said Martinez, a former Wigan player.

"They have been really open-minded, they work extremely hard and they are very honest people.

"But more than anything they are winners, and they find solutions to problems. It makes it very easy when you have a group of players like that.

"The job is hard work but it is only a game. We now have another 35 sessions before the first game of the season against Aston Villa and we need to make sure our standards are high."

Scotland scored on his first appearance for Wigan since his £2million move from Swansea but fellow new signing James McCarthy was left on the sidelines as he continues to build up his fitness.

"James has had a very light pre-season so far and at the moment he is not ready to play in an 11-on-11 situation," Martinez said.

"He needs to increase his aerobic capacity, and we'll probably see him out on the pitch in around 14 days."

Scotland has probably found it easier to fit into the new regime, having been tutored by Martinez at the Liberty Stadium.

Doubts remain as to whether the Wigan boss can enjoy success in his maiden top-flight season playing such football but Scotland believes his manager will be vindicated.

"Playing under Martinez for the last two years you learn to play good football," he said.

"There are a lot of things to take on board but that is how the gaffer likes to play; he likes to put it on the ground and play a lot.

"Some people might get bored of passing the ball but that is how we like to play.

"Don't give the ball away, that is one of the most important things. Be patient and things will happen.

"I think it is an extension of how we played at Swansea. I'd like to think we can transfer it into Premier League football.

"I've not played in the Premier League but from what I've seen there is a more patient build up from defence to attack, and you seem to get closed down more and marked tighter.

"Hopefully this style of play will help us keep hold of the ball and get some good results."

Tickets for Saturday's friendly at Carrow Road cost £10 for adults, £5 for over-60s and under-21s and £3 for under-16s.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists