Ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup fifth round tie with Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium, Roberto Martinez reflected on the productive training camp his players underwent in Tenerife this week.
The gaffer also revealed how the team’s work in warmer climes has helped to speed up the recovery of a number of injured players.
He said: “It was a very positive trip; we were able to get through much more work than if we were back in Wigan because of the time spent with the players.
“We took full advantage of that time and the facilities which were excellent; every player benefitted, particularly those who are carrying injuries.
“Their recovery was speeded up and we now have three players who are even closer to being available; AntolinAlcaraz, Emmerson Boyce and Ryo Miyaichi.
“They have a chance of making this weekend’s game given the progress they’ve made over the last week, but at this stage it’s difficult to predict who’s going to be involved. Either way they’re not far away from being included in a match squad, so if it’s not this weekend it won’t be far off at all.”
Speaking of this weekend’s encounter with Huddersfield, Martinez explained how his team will be approaching the game and aiming to make the quarter final stage for only the second time in the club’s history, saying:
“Huddersfield have got to this stage by right, and were very impressive in the last round against Leicester City.
“They have a new manager in place now and everyone there will be looking forward to the game, so we need to be perfect, prepare properly and alert to the threat that they bring at their own stadium.
“We won’t be taking the tie lightly, and instead approaching it in much the same manner as we did against Nottingham Forest in the Capital One Cup, another Championship side we faced this season.”
Mark Robins was appointed Huddersfield boss earlier in the week, and whilst the gaffer anticipates a feel-good factor at the club, emphasis on his own team’s performance is still key:
“Mark has brought success to every job that he has taken, so we need to be aware of the influence he’ll bring in his first game in charge.
“But it’s important that we concentrate on ourselves and find the balance needed to compete in two competitions, aiming to maintain our style of play and spread those responsibilities around the whole group.
“What’s also important this weekend, and in every game, is that we’re fully focused in every minute we’re on the pitch, determined to succeed for Wigan Athletic.
“Every player has to be ready first and foremost to play a role in whatever game you could be involved in.
“The team that takes to the field on Sunday is one that will be fresh and be expected to compete, which is an approach we need in every game between now and the end of the season.”