Belfast Telegraph

Martinez seeks more 'big four' success

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes his side have broken down a mental barrier with their recent performances at Liverpool and Chelsea.

At the start of March, few would have given Wigan any hope of Barclays Premier League survival. However, since then they have beaten Manchester United, won at Anfield and were only denied a positive result at Chelsea due to a series of dubious decisions, including bad offside calls for both Blues goals.

Martinez wants to build on that when his side take on Arsenal on Monday night, and he said: "We are capable of getting results against anyone. We proved that against Manchester United but also against Chelsea and Liverpool. Those games allowed us to break a mental barrier that we had in the past."

Martinez will be hoping for a big performance from midfielder Shaun Maloney, who has turned into Wigan's secret weapon with his goals against Liverpool and United.

Before the trip to Norwich on March 11, when he came off the bench, Maloney had been involved in only three Premier League games - all as a substitute - which in total amounted to just 34 minutes, following his £850,000 summer move from Celtic.

"There is a really strong adaptation period for certain players when they leave the Scottish Premier League and come to England," Martinez added.

"We worked really hard with him physically to reach the level we needed, then he had to find a partnership and position with our players.

"Maybe you can move from Celtic to the Premier League, but not from Celtic to Wigan.

"With a club fighting for the title in Scotland you get a lot of possession and the main concentration is what to do with it. It is straightforward.

"In the Premier League, physically you need to find the right level, then you have to work out what you are doing off the ball and how you are going to defend. It is not easy."

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