Date:Wednesday November 4 2009
Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez has the utmost faith in Latics striker Jason Scotland even though he has yet to score since his move from Championship club Swansea City in the summer.
Having worked with the Trinidad and Tobago international for the past two years Martinez knows enough about the big man to realize that he brings a lot more than goals to the side, he appears to have taken up the role so successfully played by Emile Heskey, a sort of battering ram at the head of the forward line.
Like Scotland, Heskey wasn`t prolific during his time at the club but he brought others in and had a great partnership with Amr Zaki in the early part of last season, now swap Zaki for Rodallega and Heskey for Scotland and you can see similarities in the way Scotland plays the foil for Hugo just like Heskey did for Zaki.
Arguably Scotland`s best game for Wigan so far was the away win at Burnley where he held play up superbly and laid on a chance for Rodallega to strike a great goal to put the Latics 2-1 up in the game, Martinez isn`t worried about the lack of goals from his number 9 and says that although he has taken a big step in coming from the Championship to the Premier League, he has the ability and the character to be successful.
Martinez speaking about Jason Scotland says: 'It is important that strikers are not judged solely on goals they score because, the way we play, we have to be patient in the build-up. We have to look to find the chances to score, we don't chase the chances, and our strikers are vital in doing that.
'Jason was particularly outstanding in the win at Burnley. He worked hard and he deserved credit because too often strikers are judged by their goals or lack of goals.
'I never had any doubt that the players coming in had the quality to adapt, but, more than the footballing ability, it's down to character and attitude.
'Obviously, it is a big step up to come from the Championship like Jason did, but you need to adapt individually first before you do so collectively.
'That is why it is going to be a transitional time for him, but, his contribution to the team has been huge.'
Scotland himself isn`t too fussed about his goals or lack of them so far, he says staying focused for the team is the most important thing at the moment and he is confident that the goals will come; he says that his team-mates tell him to be patient and he knows that this is what he must be.
The big fella says that he likes to play the lone striker role and with his managers confidence and hard work Scotland says that he will make sure that he is a success at the Latics, he told reporters: 'The guys have been telling me to be patient and that it will come eventually and, although it gets frustrating at times, as a striker I've got to stay focused and be patient.
'If you try to rush things and force a goal by shooting on sight, it can be detrimental to the team and ruin your pattern of play.
'So I've got to stay focused and carry on doing what's best for the team. And, by doing that, hopefully my chance will come.'
'Playing the lone striker role is the one I prefer'
'When I was at Swansea, working with the gaffer, we started playing with two up front, before changing it round to just one.
'For the past two seasons I've been used to playing that role and, although it can be difficult, I know the gaffer has confidence in me. I've just got to keep working hard to make sure it works.'
Win Tickets For Fans Forum
Vital Latics have two tickets on offer for the up and coming Wigan Athletic fans forum to be held at the DW Stadium in the DW Fitness Lounge located in the South Stand on Tuesday 17th November and starting at 7pm.
The fans forum will give supporters the opportunity to meet and question manager Roberto Martinez also there is a hotpot supper included, now that does make the mouth water.
Full details of the event are on the official site and can be viewed by clicking here
The event has always proved very popular in the past so if you want to be the lucky winner of two tickets, supplied by Wigan Athletic, then answer the following question and enter via link provided, closing date 10th November 5 pm.
Who is Roberto`s assistant manager:
a) Graeme Jones
b) Steve Bruce
c) Arsene Wenger
To enter click here
Thanks to Latics Commercial Director Paul Hunt for supplying the tickets
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Wednesday November 4 2009
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