Belfast Telegraph

Martinez keen on keeping Al Habsi

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has indicated he would like to maintain the services of goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi in the long-term.

The Oman international, on loan from Bolton, is set to start his seventh successive game on Saturday when Wolves arrive at the DW Stadium.

Martinez said: "We are all pleased Ali is with us and we will try to keep him here as long as we can."

Al Habsi, 28, who has replaced Chris Kirkland, kept a clean sheet in the draw against Birmingham last week.

The former trainee fireman used to train at dawn in Oman after finishing his shifts in an attempt to become a professional footballer.

Al Habsi has brought that work ethic to Wigan, according to Martinez, after starting out at Lyn Oslo.

The Latics boss continued: "He has been a breath of fresh air since he came in. He loves his football and has high standards.

"It is very rare that a foreign player has real knowledge of the Premier League but Ali has developed that during his time in England.

"Since his first game he has been performing at a very good level. He has been very consistent and assured.

"He has developed a great relationship with the back four and that is always important. But the main thing is he is enjoying his football."


From Belfast Telegraph