Martinez eyes confidence booster

The Spaniard is already under pressure just two games into the new
season after two heavy defeats. The Latics are bottom of the table
with a goal difference of minus 10 following thrashings by
champions Chelsea and promoted Blackpool. With Wigan facing another
tough test next weekend at Tottenham – where they were thrashed 9-1
last season – bookmakers have cut the odds on Martinez being the
next top-flight boss out of work. Defeat at League One Hartlepool
on Tuesday is unthinkable for Martinez and something he could ill
afford. He is therefore likely to field a strong team at Victoria
Park in the hope of instilling some much-needed confidence.
Martinez said: “We cannot be that weak and naive when things are
not going our way, and that has been the case for the past year,
not just this season. “It is something we need to eradicate from
our football club quickly. “It is time to stop giving silly goals
away and do justice to the quality we have got.” Wigan overcame a
poor run of form last season to successfully win their fight
against relegation but their current poor trot began with an 8-0
thrashing by Chelsea in May. Martinez is urging the fans to get
behind the team as they attempt to arrest their slump. He said: “I
can understand the fans booing us off because it is another game we
have not got any points from. “I would just ask the fans to forget
about the scoreline, if they can, and get behind this group of
players.” Defender Maynor Figueroa will miss the trip to Hartlepool
after being carried off on a stretcher with an ankle injury against
Chelsea. Martinez otherwise has a fully-fit squad and could include
new signing Steven Caldwell, who joined the club on a one-year deal
today. The 29-year-old, who was a free agent after leaving Burnley,
links up with his younger brother and club captain Gary at the DW
Stadium following a successful trial. Steven Caldwell said: “Gary
has of course told me what the club is like and how impressed he
has been with the set-up here and I am delighted to have sorted out
my future now. “I have already got to know the lads over the past
few weeks and I can’t wait to get started and fight for my place.”
The Caldwells are not the first brothers to be at Wigan at the same
time; Warren and Wayne Aspinall were players at Springfield Park in
the mid-1980s. Steven Caldwell played in a friendly against Dundee
United earlier this month and Martinez has been impressed by his
attitude. “We have seen what Steven is all about during his time
here – he is a leader on and off the field and a great personality
to have in the dressing room,” he said. “He has shown real
professionalism in his time with us and we are delighted to have
him on board. “He has good experience of the Premier League and has
played in the Champions League and UEFA Cup, plus is a full
Scotland international. “He is a totally committed defender who
will add fantastic competition to the squad.”