Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday December 4 2009
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez and his Birmingham City counterpart Alex McLeish have both been speaking to the press ahead of tomorrow`s game at the DW Stadium and very complimentary to each other they were, lets see what they had to say:
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'We all knew how important the game against Sunderland was, and we got everything from it; the result, the performance and altogether the right reaction'
'Now we have the responsibility of knowing how tough a game Birmingham City will give us, they're in the best moment of their season with 11 points from the last fifteen and unbeaten in their last five games, including results against Manchester City and Liverpool.
'We're not in a position of celebrating too much, it's simply a case of continuing with our hard-work and making sure we keep growing and developing.
'Birmingham are full of confidence, they've found an established 11 with a lot of experience. They work extremely hard for each other, they're hard to break down and they'll feel that they can come here and get a positive result. So we need to be ready because it's going to be a demanding game.
'Birmingham don't leave themselves exposed, so if either side can gain control of the midfield I feel that will be a critical area. First and foremost you have to earn the right to get control of the ball, and be able to dictate the play.
'Alex McLeish is a manager with great experience and he's been working with that group of players for a long time now. That kind of experience and knowledge will get you extra points during the course of the season.
'The good news is that the squad is looking very strong, we've no fresh injury worries and everyone is looking forward to the game, which is important at this stage of the campaign.'
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish:
'Wigan showed amazing character after losing 9-1 to Spurs to go on and beat Sunderland the next week, they could easily have been a team that went down the spiral after that.
'People might have expected their confidence to be shattered but they did some good rebuilding in the week leading up to the game against Sunderland.
'First and foremost they made a great gesture to the fans (by paying for their Spurs match tickets) so all that helps.
'And there was good management there because the performance they gave against Sunderland defied what had happened the week before.
'Roberto (Martinez) is a purist and plays a certain system, with one up as opposed to 4-4-2 and he had a very successful Swansea team who played that system well and now he's doing it at Wigan.'
Vital Wigan are running a competition for three lucky members to receive a Latics WN1 T-Shirt signed by the boss himself Roberto Martinez.
So how do you get to win a T-Shirt signed by the gaffer? Simply answer the following question.
Where is the new Latics WN1 situated?
A - The Galleries
B - The Grand Arcade
C - The Royal Arcade
Send your answer to: firstname.lastname@example.org, be sure to mark your email T-Shirt comp, include your name and a postal address and T-Shirt size required (these will be passed onto Wigan Athletic who will distribute the prize) and Vital username.
Closing date is Friday 4th December 5pm
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Friday December 4 2009
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