Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Martinez respects Carroll qualities

Roberto Martinez, pictured, has highlighted Andy Carroll's danger ahead of the weekend

Roberto Martinez's Wigan side come up against a rejuvenated Andy Carroll on Saturday and the Latics manager believes there will always be a place in the game for an old-fashioned English number nine.

The West Ham striker, on loan from Liverpool, has scored six goals in his last 11 appearances and proved more than a handful for champions-elect Manchester United in midweek. Martinez insists players have to use whatever strengths they have to their own advantage and will be preparing his defenders for more of the same.

"He is a potent threat and he's always been a threat," said the Latics manager. "We have seen him at two previous clubs show the same power and strength and he did it for England at the Euros and was very impressive so I don't think it is a surprise to anyone."

Defeat at Manchester City in midweek ended a five-match unbeaten run for Wigan, leaving them three points from safety, albeit with a match in hand.

The Latics were arguably the better team at the Etihad and Martinez said that gave the FA Cup finalists confidence as they approached the crucial run-in of their last six league matches.

"It was a very positive performance. Yes, at this stage of the season we need the points and to get the results but if you look at the dressing room it is full of confidence," he stressed.

"When I see us visiting the champions and, in the game, demanding three points that fills me with pride because it shows how far we've come.

"We are prepared to go until the last ball is kicked on May 19 (when they face fellow strugglers Aston Villa at home)."

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