Meeting the Boss - Preseason and the Pitch
On Thursday of last week I had another opportunity, along with Jay T (Cockney Latic), Migs (Mudhuts) and Farri (Wiganer.net) to spend some time in the company of Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez down at the clubs training facilitates at Christopher Park in the players canteen.
In article one I have mentioned that Roberto was asked about some of the poor performances the team have put in this season and though he spoke candidly Roberto was also very defensive of his squad and put the poor shows down to learning and not yet understanding their roles in the team as much as anything else.
Roberto spoke about preseason and how much he is looking forward to this time with the players even though there are still two games of the current season remaining, he feels that there is only a short period to get the players up to speed with the World Cup eating into the time so a trip the club considered taking to the United States to face Olimpia is now on the back burner for this year.
Roberto said that the squad will be off to Austria for a training camp and play some friendlies whilst out there and then back to the UK for the rest of preseason with a home friendly against what he described as `tough opposition` on the 7th August at the DW Stadium.
"We are going to Austria, and we are trying to organise a couple of games because I think it will be important to play against teams who play different styles and can play a different way.
"But we are definitely going to Austria. It is a short pre-season, it is only going to be four weeks because of the world cup. We need to fit in 65 sessions within those four weeks.
"We need to go somewhere with the squad to be able to work three sessions a day.
"The main friendly is going to be on the 7th August at the DW and we are expecting to have a foreign team."
"Well anyway a club that is going to test us in a different way. When you sign players, you need to play at your stadium and you need to go into the first league game knowing this is your stadium and this is your environment. That is why the 7th August is going to be an important fixture.
"I am excited about the pre-season already and we have still got two games left to go."
Roberto spoke about the state of the pitch at the DW Stadium and how he felt this season that it was a major obstacle to the way the Latics want to play football and actually contributed to some poor performances especially the games against Bolton, Stoke and Spurs when we only managed to take 2 points from a possible 9 that were available.
He also said that he would like it widening to give his team more room to knock the ball around and he was looking at increasing it by a yard either side but to do this the club needed to consult with the Premier League.
"We are trying to avoid being in a situation again where the pitch is very bad, but I think that it is quite clear that any ground that shares rugby league and football you are risking that if you get a bad winter and that is what we had last year"
"From a pitch point of view what I would like to do next season is make it wider and if we could gain a yard each side that would do it"
"The problem we`ve got though are the lights on top of the stand and we`d need to work with the Premier League to get that sorted, we would definitely benefit from having a wider pitch
"If the next winter is bad though we will have the same problem again"
To be continued…
Meeting the Boss article one
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