Wigan news

Martinez: McManaman ready to step up

March 11, 2013
By Richard Jolly

Roberto Martinez has said Callum McManaman is in contention to start a Premier League game after the winger starred as Wigan reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time.

Callum McManaman superbly beats Jan Mucha to score Wigan's second goal at Everton
GettyImagesCallum McManaman superbly beat Jan Mucha to score Wigan's second goal

McManaman, 21, scored the second goal in Saturday's 3-0 win at Everton - the club he supported as a boy - to set up a last-four meeting with Millwall or Blackburn at Wembley.

He also scored in the fifth-round win over Huddersfield but, despite making 17 substitute appearances, has never begun a league game for Athletic.

Manager Martinez said: "Callum McManaman showed he is ready to play in the league. He is a real example of what we have got to do at Wigan. Developing youngsters is a must - it has to be paramount for any football club to produce youngsters."

McManaman was borrowed by Blackpool last season, and Martinez feels he has developed as a result.

He added: "Callum has had his different periods, he has been out on loan, he has adapted to the football concepts and he has performed really well.

"To be able to do that at Goodison Park is special for him, and for us it is a real example for everyone in that development squad to know that, if they work hard enough, if they are prepared to listen, if they are prepared to give everything they have got to become footballers, they will get an opportunity at Wigan."

Martinez believes Wigan's wins over Bournemouth, Macclesfield, Huddersfield and Everton allowed both youngsters and fringe players to show him what they can do.

He explained: "This cup run has given us extra players. Joel [Robles] in goal showed a great level of performance, [so did] Roman Golobart in previous rounds, and Fraser Fyvie, so this cup success is bringing extra competition into the league campaign and that's what we need to get."