Martinez up for Carling Cup

Latics were humbled 3-0 at Manchester City last weekend and face

another testing Premier League away game at Everton next Saturday.

Such matches are undoubtedly Martinez’s top priority as he bids to

improve Wigan’s league standing after their narrow escape from

relegation last season. But the Spaniard insists he will be taking

the Carling Cup seriously this term, starting with Tuesday’s trip

to npower Championship outfit Crystal Palace, even though he will

inevitably make changes. Martinez said: “In September we play Man

City, Everton and Spurs and we are starting our Carling Cup

adventure. “It is a really demanding month but, with the amount of

players we have got it is great month for us. “I see the Carling

Cup as a really exciting competition. “We want to progress as far

as we can and make sure we use these games as a really strong

internal competition for places. “We have got really good talent in

the squad.” Martinez is expected to hand debuts to new signings

Shaun Maloney and Patrick van Aanholt while another recent recruit,

Albert Crusat, could make his first start. “I am sure they are

desperate to have a part in it,” Martinez said. “They have been

working really well. “Over this week, with three games, it is

guaranteed that every player is going to have a role. “It is

important they have a natural introduction into the squad. “This

week is going to be a perfect scenario for that.” Defender Van

Aanholt, on a season-long loan from Chelsea, is especially likely

to feature with Antolin Alcaraz, Steven Gohouri and Emmerson Boyce

all missing. Youngster Victor Moses, impressive in the opening

weeks of the campaign, will be hoping to start again against his

former club. Martinez expects his team to learn from their

experience at the Etihad Stadium, when their unbeaten start to the

season was comprehensively ended by a much superior City side.

Martinez told the club’s website: “It is great to play against

these sort of sides but we want to be critical of ourselves. “We

know we didn’t play as well as we can and in every game you want to

be as good as you can. “I think we are a lot better and we need to

learn quickly. “Our potential is huge and the time to show that is

in every game in the Premier League, not just the games we are

expected to get something out of.” Wigan will be expected to come

away from Selhurst Park with a victory but Martinez has warned his

players to expect another difficult encounter. He said: “I have

been watching Crystal Palace for a while now, not just this season.

“They are really well organised. They have a good balance in their

squad with experience and exciting young talent. “They are going to

give us a really tough game.”