Sport

Wigan Athletic facing ‘must-win’ game against QPR, says boss Roberto Martinez

By Matt Simpson

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez is looking to stop the rot as he prepares his team for a ‘must win’ game against Queens Park Rangers.

Despite putting in decent displays, the Latics have suffered defeats in their last two games – without scoring a goal – against Newcastle United and Manchester City leaving them 16th.

Propping up the Premier League, QPR are currently eight points adrift of Wigan, but Martinez is wary of the improvement shown by Harry Redknapp’s side since his arrival.

“They are starting to bring a little bit of consistency in their play since Harry Redknapp arrived at the club,” he said.

“You can see in the last two games, they got two positive results and they are playing with a real togetherness.

“They’ll be looking at every game they have got in front of them from now on as must win games to get out of the position they are in.

Last season this fixture ended in 2-0 to the Latics and Martinez will be hoping for a repeat to put more distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

The Spaniard was proud of the way his players reacted to Maynor Figueroa’s dismissal at St James’ Park and believes if they continue to perform, positive results will come.

“It would have been all too easy at Newcastle to throw the towel in and accept defeat. I was very pleased with the manner we reacted,” he added.

“The focus, going in to Saturday is to not drop our standards. I think that the last two performances have been good enough to get positive results.

“If we carry on hitting that level of performance, we’ll get a positive result.”

With Figueroa’s appeal against his card rejected, Wigan will now be missing eight first team players, but the popular manager is pleased other players are desperate to take advantage.

“There is a couple that probably will have an opportunity to be in the squad on Saturday. They have been fighting to get back into full fitness,” he said.

“The rest are desperate to take the opportunity to be on the pitch and I’m excited about that.”

Picture courtesy of BBC, via YouTube, with thanks.

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