Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday July 3 2009
Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez is gearing up for a high intensity pre-season as he readies his Latics squad for the big kick-off against Aston Villa on August 15th.
The new Latics chief realises that it will be a tough to improve on last seasons 11th spot finish but says that he is working to get the players excited, looking forward to the challenge and making sure they are ready for the opening game.
Martinez told Sky Sports that the current crop of players at the club have a fantastic pedigree, he says that they are winners with high standards and he is looking to build on that. He said:'In football you set your own standards'
'I've seen the players we have got in our squad, you look at their careers and their pedigree. They have got high standards and they are winners.
'It's going to be high-intensity and very competitive pre-season. This period is going to be huge for us - to have the option to work on different things and make sure we prepare ourselves well for what is going to be a very challenging time.
'We have lost a few players. It was a great season in terms of the results that Wigan achieved, finishing 11th is a great target.
'We are in the middle of a bit of transitional time and the best time to do that is in pre-season.
'I just want the players to be excited, to look forward to the challenge ahead and make sure they are ready for the competition.'
The players report back for duty next week, with the exception of Lee Cattermole who is having an extended break due to his participation in the European under-21 Championship Final, so it will give the new manager and his squad the opportunity to get to know each other and undoubtedly Martinez will be instilling his football philosophy into team has they start their pre-season friendlies with the first game scheduled for 16th July at Crewe.
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Date:Friday July 3 2009
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