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Wigan chief Roberto Martinez braced for stiff Norwich City test

15:21 09 March 2012

Roberto Martinez was impressed by the Canaries on the opening day of the Premier League season. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

Roberto Martinez was impressed by the Canaries on the opening day of the Premier League season. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd.

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Wigan chief Roberto Martinez warns it is time for the Latics’ to face the music ahead of this weekend’s crunch Premier League trip to Carrow Road.

The Spaniard guided Wigan to safety on the final day of last season and Martinez accepts it will take something similar again with the Latics locked in a five-way battle at the foot of the table. Martinez insists there can be no more excuses against Norwich after a damaging defeat to Swansea last weekend following a disrupted build-up dominated by the international fixture calendar.

“We obviously weren’t happy with the preparation,” he said. “It will have affected many teams, but we were probably the worst affected because we had players representing their countries in all corners of the world. Thankfully, this week we have got adequate time to prepare for the Norwich game, and the luxury of an extra day because of the Sunday kick-off.

“That will allow us to pay special attention to details, and treat each and every one of the players in an individual manner. The players who went away last week and pushed themselves to play last weekend needed the rest, whereas some of the other players will be spending time on technical work and sharpening up. The extra 24 hours gives us the perfect preparation going into the game, and we’ll definitely be looking to put right the wrongs of last week.”

Martinez is well aware the Canaries on home turf present a formidable barrier with Wigan striving to respond from a 2-0 defeat to his old club.

“I think when we saw Norwich on the opening day of the season we saw exactly what we were going to get from them,” he said.

“The players were really down on Saturday. You could sense it in the dressing room after the game that a great opportunity had passed us.

“The performance was not good enough, but the players are very responsible, we have a good group here and they’re working harder than ever to get themselves on the road to recovery for the Norwich game this weekend, which is how it should be. The players and the fans are ready and as a football club we’re ready to get out of this position.”

Martinez appealed for unity after meeting owner Dave Whelan and disgruntled supporters earlier this week prior to a crucial phase of the season.

“Everything we do here is for the good of Wigan Athletic and it’s important the fans know that, from on and off-field decisions to long-term strategies,” he said.

“It was a chance for us all to get closer together for the next 11 games because for us to be successful we have to be a unit, just like last season.”

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