Martinez calls for narrow focus

The Latics are looking to end a winless run of seven matches in the

Premier League on Monday which has kept them firmly mired in the

dogfight at the bottom end of the table. Depending on the outcome

of games involving West Ham, Bolton, Wolves, Hull and Burnley on

Saturday and Sunday, Martinez’s side could have slipped into the

relegation zone by the time they take to the field at the DW

Stadium. But while the Spaniard will be keenly monitoring

developments over the next 48 hours, he has also stressed how

important it is that his players keep their minds on their own

fixture. “We want to focus on ourselves and that is what we have to

do,” Martinez said. “I think we have to be aware when the other

teams are in front of us, whether they are going to get a result or

not, but that shouldn’t affect our performance. “You don’t want to

create a situation where you feel that you need to rely on other

teams. “At the moment it is really tight down at the bottom and

there are eight teams that are going to be fighting to avoid

relegation. “But it is important that we focus on ourselves, that

we remain really secure in what we are doing and that is why as a

football club we need to get together and rely on our performances

and our results. “In that respect, it won’t have a say, what the

others are doing in this period.” There will be a new pitch in

place at the DW Stadium in time for the match, something Martinez

believes can only help Wigan rediscover their form. “It is true

that it has gone against us in the last few home fixtures and we

haven’t been able to make the difference on the pitch with our

quality,” Martinez said. “Playing against a side like Liverpool, it

is in many departments that we need to be better. “At least the

pitch is going to be as good as it can be for the six home games

that we have got left and that is very important.” Charles N’Zogbia

– who has indicated his willingness to play for England rather than

France if called upon – will undergo a late fitness test after

picking up a knee injury but should be available to play. The same

applies to Paul Scharner (groin), who came through an international

with Austria this week. Steven Gohouri is the only major doubt as

he continues his recovery from a back problem.