December 8, 2012
Wigan growing in adversity - Martinez
Team Stat Comparison
|Wigan Athletic||Queens Park Rangers|
|Goals for *||1.4||0.9|
|Goals against *||2.1||1.7|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-W-W||L-L-L-D-W|
|Last 5 away||L-W-L-L-D||L-D-L-L-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Wigan Athletic | Queens Park Rangers|
Roberto Martinez believes Wigan will be stronger for the injury and suspension problems that are threatening to derail their Barclays Premier League campaign.
The Latics go into Saturday's clash with basement side QPR at the DW Stadium looking to avoid a third straight defeat and without eight senior players.
Defender Antolin Alcaraz and playmaker Shaun Maloney (both groin) are close to fitness but unlikely to feature, while midfielder Ben Watson (broken leg), wingers Albert Crusat (knee) and Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and defender Ivan Ramis (hamstring) are also out.
To cap Martinez's selection problems, centre-backs Gary Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa are both suspended, with Wigan failing in an appeal against the latter's red card in Monday's 3-0 defeat by Newcastle.
The Wigan boss said: "We've got four centre-halfs missing and that doesn't happen a lot but I'm really pleased in the manner the other players have been working, and they've been waiting for their chance.
"That's what we want to create at the football club, a structure where you've got players ready to come in and to perform in the manner we want to play.
"Adrian Lopez came in against Reading and he performed against Manchester City and Newcastle at a very high level. Emmerson Boyce has been outstanding in that new role.
"I never look at the players that aren't there, it's the opposite. And once we get through this period we're going to be a stronger squad and a squad ready to finish the season really strong.''
Harry Redknapp has promised his players they can party as much as they like - but only if they keep QPR in the Premier League.
Redknapp banned Christmas parties at Tottenham after a raucous and unauthorised trip to Dublin three years ago was followed by a home defeat to Wolves.
His successor Andre Villas-Boas said this week that he is happy for his squad to have "two or three'' festive get-togethers, but QPR's current plight means Redknapp has no plans to do the same at his new club.
With Rangers seven points from safety after a winless run of 15 matches, the 65-year-old thinks his players do not deserve a party. Indeed the only celebrating that QPR will undertake this year is if they manage to avoid a potentially crippling relegation to the npower Championship.
"I'm not mad about footballers having Christmas parties,'' Redknapp told a press conference.
"I have been doing this job an awful long time and I find it's nothing but aggravation. Almost every club has had aggro' at some time.
"The lads go out, photographers are waiting to take pictures of them late at night and you don't need it really. With the position we're in we have nothing to celebrate. We need to concentrate on getting results and if we get out of trouble we will have a big party at the end of the year.
"They had the whole summer off to have all the parties they wanted and get two and a half months of holidays - they can go anywhere and do what they want. This is the busiest time of the year.''
Redknapp warned there would be no quick fix to QPR's problems when he was appointed two weeks ago and that much has been clear from his first two games in charge. Rangers struggled to a draw in Redknapp's opener at Sunderland and the Londoners came from behind to take a point against Aston Villa at home last weekend.
Should they fail to beat fellow strugglers Wigan at the DW Stadium, QPR will become the only club in Premier League history not to win any of their first 16 matches. Redknapp has been pleased with the efforts of his players, but he admits QPR's current predicament troubles him 24/7.
"My only concern and focus is trying to get some results at QPR,'' Redknapp said.
"That's where my mind is all day every day and all night. I've been focusing on trying to get us ready to get a win tomorrow. If we do that then our season could take off.''