Boss believes in Wigan's ability

Published Dec. 10, 2010 1:15 p.m. ET

The Latics have not been able to rectify inconsistencies in their results which caused them difficulties last season and once again find themselves in the bottom three. A busy period over the next month will not decide their season but a healthy return of points would make things easier for Wigan going into the new year. Martinez has, probably wisely, not set his squad a target haul from matches against Everton, Aston Villa, Wolves, Arsenal, Newcastle and Bolton. But he is certain they have the mental strength to stand up to the pressure and pull away from the relegation zone, as they did towards the latter end of last season. "I am not looking for a return in points, I am looking how we can reflect a bit more in the scorelines our good performances on the pitch," he said. "There have been too many times when we have been so close and those little margins are the ones we need to correct over the next few months. "We have a huge advantage in that we are a young and talented group and we don't believe what the table is saying. "We believe in our own ability and we believe in what we are capable of doing so we set our own targets. "It is important we don't get too pessimistic because we are third from bottom with the same points as fourth from bottom (Fulham) but we should not get too optimistic if we are fifth from bottom. "The differences are minimal and you can't drop your standards but I think the squad is responsible and mature enough now to understand the needs we have this season. "We have a fantastic challenge and I don't see it as a pressure point at all, I see it as an opportunity to start getting rewards." Martinez witnessed the players' character last weekend as they twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Stoke. He has urged the squad to display those fighting qualities again in the coming weeks. "We needed to react and we had to make sure we showed a performance of passion and determination and good football," he added. "Going behind twice against Stoke it takes a lot of character [to come back to draw] and I was very pleased with those ingredients because they are going to be needed in such a demanding month as December. "It has given the whole group a lot of confidence and I feel we are ready to bank on all the good work we have done for five months and start getting the results our work deserves." Striker Hugo Rodallega makes a welcome return having served a three-match suspension for his sending-off against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Martinez said they had tried to use his time on the sidelines profitably, taking a long-term view to the coming months, and he expected the Colombia international to return raring to go. "Hugo has learned from the incident. He understands that it is a challenge which has to be avoided," said the Latics boss. "But we have been using the time he has been away to regenerate his body and get ready for the next four months. "Hugo is not the type of player who likes to miss anything, whether it be playing or training and he needs to be involved. "I think he has been suffering a lot watching his team-mates from the sidelines. "It is an experience which has hurt and he wants to make sure he makes up quickly."