Martinez makes case for the defence

BY foxsports • January 14, 2010

Martinez has brought in Celtic captain Gary Caldwell and Ivory Coast international Steven Gohouri, having completed a loan deal for reserve goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic seven days ago. Wigan have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded 44 goals in 19 matches - although that includes nine in the disastrous defeat at Tottenham two months ago. Last season's player of the year, Titus Bramble, and Emmerson Boyce have again been the first-choice pair in the centre of defence this season but Martinez believes additional competition will be healthy for them and the rest of the squad. "Obviously two defenders and a goalkeeper coming in at the same time probably sends the wrong message," said Martinez. "It is not that I am not happy with the defenders at all, I want a stronger squad with more options and to have a different way to play the game if I have to. "To do that we will have to bring in players in all positions and not just the back. "I want to sign players in every department and that is what we are going to use the January window for. "We need to maintain the good things we have done in the first part of the season and the other side is the inconsistency. "To do that we need certain individuals and extra competition in every single position." Martinez hopes the arrival of Caldwell will provide organisation and leadership to a defence that has, at times, looked shaky. "I have been a big admirer of Gary, I've seen him play many times - especially in Europe," said the Latics boss. "I think Gary is one of those players from a dying breed; an out-and-out leader and a great talker. "He is probably in the best moment of his career at 27. He has been through many experiences and it seems the Premier League is the next step. "All the human qualities he has are something we are going to welcome massively. "He is ready to play and knows about the demands of the Premier League." Wigan fought off interest from Caldwell's former manager Gordon Strachan at Middlesbrough to land the Scotland international, and Martinez admitted it was a difficult job persuading Celtic to part with the defender. "When you work with Gary, as a manager he is someone you want in your team wherever you go," he said. "It hasn't been easy but we are fortunate we have now got him and he is in the best possible condition." Martinez is still in the hunt for a striker to support leading scorer Hugo Rodallega, while a few departures from the DW Stadium are expected before the end of the window. Midfielder Daniel De Ridder will probably move overseas having failed to establish a place in the first team while the likes of left-back Erik Edman and Jason Koumas will be allowed to leave if the club receive suitable offers.


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