Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Monday March 15 2010
Following on from the bad result and even worse performance on Saturday at the Reebok Stadium Wigan Athletic get the chance to shake the Bolton game from their system when they take on Aston Villa in tonights re-arranged Premier League fixture.
Last week under the DW floodlights Martinez` team turned in a great performance and got the result against Liverpool, more of the same is required against a Villa side that are chasing the same prize as Liverpool, the final Champions League spot, whilst the Latics are fighting for their survival in Englands top division.
The games like the excuses though are fast running out and with just 9 left it is important to get the points on the board and the players must stand up and be counted.
Too many times this season there has been a collapse when the going got tough, the lads on the pitch need to display some spirit and get the fans behind them with a never say die attitude.
The fans also have their part to play and shouting derogatory remarks at the players and booing will do nobody any good, last week against Liverpool the home support was fantastic and this inspired the team to perform exceptionally well and keep solid for the full 90 minutes, more of the same is required from both the fans and the players.
Any sort of result will give the team some confidence ahead of the visit of Burnley on Saturday, just as a footnote it is 10 years since Martin O`Neill last won a Premier League game in March, lets not see that record go tonight, please.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez:
'Villa have real quality in their side, especially in the wide areas and back that up with experience in many departments of the team.
'But we've shown great maturity at home, proved we are a solid side to play against and on the ball we can hurt many teams.
'It's all about re-creating that environment we had against Liverpool last week and making sure we react in the right manner as we always do at our football club when we get a disappointment. As long as we're all together as a club we'll get the rewards we deserve.'
Villa boss Martin O'Neill:
'They've had a strange season'
'At times they have played brilliantly in matches and then they've had some other indifferent performances.
'It has been 'topsy turvy' for them this year but the fact they defeated us, Chelsea and Liverpool shows it is a game to be taken very seriously.'
Mario Melchiot and Steve Gohouri are both unavailable.
Kirkland, Boyce, Caldwell, Bramble, Figueroa, N'Zogbia, Diame, McCarthy, Scharner, Rodallega, Moreno
Little Charlie has been the most creative Latics player all season
Harewood and Reo-Coker are both out
Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Downing, Milner, Petrov, Ashley Young, Heskey, Carew, Agbonlahor, Guzan, Luke Young, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Delph, Beye.
Players returning to former clubs always play with a point to prove
Latics and Villa have met on 12 previous occasions
Latics 4 wins, Villa 5, draws 3
Last Five Meetings
15/08/09 - Premier League - Aston Villa 0 Latics 2
31/01/09 - Premier League - Aston Villa 0 Latics 0
26/10/08 - Premier League - Latics 0 Aston Villa 4
03/05/08 - Premier League - Aston Villa 0 Latics 2
29/12/07 - Premier League - Latics 1 Aston Villa 2
Steve Bennett (Kent)
Why not take a look at our meet the ref article
Head says 1-1 draw
Heart says 1-0 Latics win
Date:Monday March 15 2010
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