November 28, 2012
Don't hold back - Martinez
Team Stat Comparison
|Wigan Athletic||Manchester City|
|Goals for *||1.4||1.3|
|Goals against *||2.1||1.0|
|Last 5 home||D-L-D-W-W||L-W-W-W-W|
|Last 5 away||L-W-L-L-D||W-D-L-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Wigan Athletic | Manchester City|
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has told his team to carry on attacking as he prepares for the visit of Manchester City.
Latics' enthralling clash with Reading last weekend saw 35 attempts on goal at either end and the game was settled in Wigan's favour, 3-2, by hat-trick hero Jordi Gomez's dramatic stoppage-time winner.
Facing the champions might prompt some to consider tightening up but Martinez has no such plans ahead of Wednesday's Barclays Premier League outing at the DW Stadium.
The Spaniard said: "I am not a manager that looks for a clean sheet. I am looking for a win. If you have to score three goals to win, as long as you can do it, I am happier with that.
"The amount of attempts we have created from open play, we look a real threat in that last third.
"That is a sign of a team that is starting to understand the role we are going to play at home, at times, when we play teams who are well organised or defensively well set up.
"You need to be a little bit patient but I can't be critical of our attacking play. It is as good as we have been going forward.
"Clearly you don't want to concede soft goals and at the moment we are doing that.
"But if you can find a way to outscore the opposition, I would take that rather than just keeping a clean sheet in every game.''
The injury-hit Latics will give fitness tests to forward Shaun Maloney (groin) and defender Gary Caldwell (hamstring).
Defender Ivan Ramis (hamstring) is unlikely to feature after being forced off against Reading last weekend, but midfielder James McArthur and striker Franco di Santo are back in contention after coming off the bench in that game.
Midfielders Albert Crusat (knee) and Ben Watson (broken leg), winger Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and defender Antolin Alcaraz (groin) remain on the sidelines.
City boss Roberto Mancini avoided media duties on his 48th birthday, leaving first-team coach David Platt to sing the praises of defender Matija Nastasic.
Earlier this month Mancini walked into one of his press conferences wearing a Platt mask, a jovial reference to his recent habit of asking his number two to speak on his behalf.
And it was Platt again who addressed reporters as City previewed their midweek Barclays Premier League trip to Wigan.
The former England midfielder claimed it had nothing to do with the fact it was the Italian's birthday, but said there was work to do with the game coming just three days after the last.
Platt said: "It's not just his birthday, the games are coming thick and fast and his words are in the system.''
Platt went on to speak positively about the champions' defence, with Sunday's goalless draw at Chelsea bringing a fifth clean sheet in seven Premier League games.
Among their key performers has been 19-year-old Nastasic, who is now blocking the return of fit-again England centre-back Joleon Lescott to the team.
The Serbian, signed from Fiorentina on deadline day in August, has started the last seven matches in all competitions. Lescott missed part of that sequence with a back injury but has been back in contention for the last three games.
Platt said: "That is testament to him (Nastasic). He has stepped in. The first couple of games he has had to get used to English football but he has done that very quickly.
"The really, really good performance - he has had several good ones - but the real one where it might have been a bit alien to him was when we went down to West Ham.''
Defender Gael Clichy remains on the injury list.
The Frenchman has missed the last two matches with an ankle problem and is also unlikely to feature this weekend, but captain Vincent Kompany (knee) felt no ill effects after his 90-minute performance against Chelsea on Sunday.
Midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) is making progress but not ready to feature, while right-back Micah Richards (knee) remains out.