Roberto Martinez believes Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup Third Round tie away to West Ham United is the perfect opportunity for his team to return to form after successive Barclays Premier League defeats against Manchester United and Fulham.
After making several changes against Nottingham Forest in the previous round, Martinez also revealed his plans for rotating the team this time round.
“We’re desperate to get back on the pitch once more after the disappointment at the weekend against Fulham, and from that point of view the game comes at a good moment,” said the Gaffer.
“The numbers in the squad are good enough to share the responsibility around, but the game will more importantly be a chance to get that competitive feel back into the group in a tough encounter.
“We understand the demands three games in one week brings and so it’s a period where the full squad needs to be ready for and some of the lads who have been disappointed not to make the team lately will have the opportunity to make an impression on Tuesday night.
“Ever since the first goal we conceded at Old Trafford we’ve needed to find to find a better meaning and direction in our performances, and this is a chance to achieve that.”
Victory would take Latics to within one step of the quarter final stage, but Martinez insists a cup-run is not in the mind-set of his players at the moment, seeing the match as having a higher purpose than progression in the competition.
He said: “We’re not looking for a cup run at the moment, we’re focused on Tuesday’s game with the intention of winning and looking to build on the momentum and competition the game will bring.
“That’s really important for us at the moment because for whatever reason we’re not performing as well as we can and this game will help to bring those levels of quality up in the group.
“That’s where the priority lies, because a strong performance will have a good impact on the competition within the squad during this period and hopefully a positive result on the night.
“Antolin Alcaraz won’t be available for the match, nor will Franco Di Santo with the problem he has with his calf, but apart from that everyone else is available.”