Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Martinez eyes strong finish

Roberto Martinez

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is confident he has enough players with the right mental attitude to see them have a successful finish to the season.

The Latics, unbeaten in four league matches, face near-neighbours Bolton in an FA Cup fourth round replay at the DW Stadium on Wednesday While progression in the cup would help maintain their momentum there is no doubt Barclays Premier League survival is paramount, with the club 18th in the table with 11 matches to go.

"It is a welcome distraction because this season we have used the cup competitions to add players to our squad," said the Spaniard. "The more experience they have the stronger they get mentally and it makes you capable. The group is in a very good moment mentally and it is very important that we understand we want to win every game we play in."

He added: "The game will be decided on small margins but we just have to keep doing what we have been doing. We are going to carry on progressing and that is always a good mentality to have.

"The team is showing great maturity, the way we played at Anfield (in Saturday's 1-1 draw) showed that, and that means it should give you a lot of points."

Wigan and Bolton have drawn three times already this season and another such outcome after 90 minutes and extra time would produce a penalty shoot out, which will be an additional test of players' mental strengths.

However, Martinez is confident his squad will be up to the task should it arise.

"Mentality is more important. Technically I have seen the best players find the occasion is too big for them and they cannot perform," he added.

"Other players who not as gifted but have that winning mentality, that ruthless streak that they don't get affected by the moment, are the best penalty takers.

"The mental side overcomes that technical skill in a player. In every squad you always have a list of players who are ready mentally to take penalties and we have plenty of options."

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