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Reds not one-man team - Martinez
Published : 16 Nov 2012 13:30:00
Roberto Martinez is wary of Wigan placing too much emphasis on the threat of Luis Suarez in Saturday's Premier League clash at Liverpool.
While the Reds - 13th in the table, one place and one point ahead of Latics - have made a mixed start to the season overall, their frontman Suarez has been in superb form, netting 11 times.
Martinez has no doubt the Uruguay international is "vital" for Liverpool. But he is also keen to stress that as far as he is concerned, the Merseysiders are in no way a one-man team. "Luis Suarez is vital at the moment, but I think it would be wrong to give him special treatment because then there are other players around him who can really take advantage of it," Martinez said.
"You are not talking about a one-player team - that would be dangerous and wrong. "It is true that in front of goal at the moment, Suarez is the most influential player in that squad and the stats reflect that. "But it would be wrong to allow other players to have extra space because the quality is all over the pitch.
"The quality of this side is such that they are ready to go to fight for a Champions League spot, as they will do with time." Wigan have a good record in recent years against Liverpool, with Latics unbeaten in the last five meetings stretching back to 2009/10 - Martinez's first season in charge - and victorious at Anfield last term.
The Spaniard was subsequently courted by the Reds over the summer as they looked for a manager to replace Kenny Dalglish. Brendan Rodgers eventually landed that job, and Martinez - who says he spoke to several clubs - has indicated that Wigan chairman Dave Whelan was the key factor in his decision to stay put.
"When you leave a football club, it has to be the right time," Martinez said. "The chairman in many ways is the one who had to make the decision about what he wanted to do next - it was clear if we were going to work together, we had to both be thinking along the same lines in terms of ambition for the club.
"He has had an incredible history with Wigan Athletic and now is the time to kick on. "The moment he decided to do that, it decided whether I would leave or not." He added: "I saw him excited and ready, and he is a very persuasive man. From thereon, we were ready to write the next chapter. "Probably everything was done a little bit too much in the open, but that is the way we are as a football club - we will never keep anything away from our fans."