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Martinez tips City for title challenge
Published : 19 Sep 2010 09:28:00
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has warned Chelsea that Manchester City could have a big role to play in the Premier League title race this season. City, who travel to Wigan on Sunday, have lofty ambitions for the 2010-11 campaign after bringing in another wave of expensive new signings over the summer. It has been a mixed start so far, with Roberto Mancini's side drawing at Tottenham and beating Liverpool in their opening two league games, only to lose against Sunderland before being held at Eastlands by Blackburn last week. The jury is still out on City's title credentials but Martinez is convinced it is only a matter of time before they find some rhythm - and that when they do, they will be genuine contenders. Asked if he felt City could they win the title this season, the Latics boss said: "Yes, because the Premier League is getting tighter and many teams are capable of taking points off the top four. "Chelsea have made a great start, but the season is not going to be decided in the first few months and Man City could easily join that title race. "They have that strength and talent in that squad. They played one game in the Europa League (on Thursday) and all of a sudden David Silva is back - that is how quickly they can get top players back on form. "I just feel City will be in that position when December, January arrives and that is the period when you need to peak." Martinez feels it will not be long before City click as a team. "We all agree now that Manchester City are one of the glamorous sides in the Premier League, and in European and world football," he said. "They have achieved that over the last few seasons with their success in the transfer windows and it is only a matter of time before those players click together as a team and they will be competing for the title, I've got no doubts about that. "We hope it won't be on Sunday, but we are well aware of their strengths. Certain individuals there are world-class talents and when they click as a team, they will be quite difficult to stop." While Mancini attempts to shape what Martinez regards as "the best squad of players in the Premier League" into a harmonious unit at City, the Spaniard has been trying to bed in a host of new arrivals himself - having recruited from a somewhat more modest market. Scotland's Clydesdale Bank Premier League has been a key area of interest for the Wigan manager, with midfielder James McArthur following in the footsteps of James McCarthy by joining the club from Hamilton. Players from the Scottish league generally fall into the Latics' price range and Martinez feels the amount of game time youngsters get north of the border is also a massive bonus. "Young players need to play football and they need to find experiences and find their way in football games," Martinez said. "At the moment, a lot of youngsters for different reasons do that in the SPL in Scotland. "I'm not saying that is all positive, because for the teams, they lose a lot of experience and it devalues the standard a little bit. "But many youngsters there are allowed to make mistakes on a football pitch, and that is the only way you progress. "If you look at the players we have signed in James McCarthy and James McArthur, they are 19 and 22 years old but they have the experience of players who are 25 or 26 years old."