Belfast Telegraph

Martinez delighted by Rodallega

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes he has found a "new player" in Hugo Rodallega since the closure of the January transfer window.

The Colombian striker, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was heavily linked with a move last month and Martinez admits the player's head was turned.

But no deal transpired and Martinez is pleased to have the 26-year-old, the Latics' top scorer for the past two seasons and the hero of last year's survival fight, on board for the ongoing relegation battle, and said: "Remember, every footballer is a human being. It is normal that you get distracted by all the speculation."

He added: We have seen that time after time and I am sure we are going to see it in the future. Now I am delighted the window is closed and we are all really focused.

"Hugo has been nothing but a great professional, bringing great standards on a daily basis.

"In the last two years we have seen what he has done on the football pitch and we need Hugo at 100%. We need him enjoying his football.

"Since the transfer deadline, in many ways, we have found a new player and we need to enjoy Hugo's quality until the end of the season."

Rodallega has scored just twice for the Barclays Premier League bottom side this season but his campaign has been affected by injuries. He was a substitute in last weekend's draw with Everton but could come back into the reckoning to start in Saturday's crucial derby at fellow strugglers Bolton.

Martinez said: "Hugo is ready now. He had a bit of a soft tissue problem that he picked up against Man City and we had to look after that.

"Now everyone is available and wants to play. Hugo is no different - he is desperate to be on the pitch to help the team."

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