Latics keen to keep hold of Al Habsi

30 September 2010 03:22
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has indicated he would like to retain the services of goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi in the long-term.

The Oman international, on loan from Bolton, is set to start his seventh successive game on Saturday when Wolves arrive at the DW Stadium.

Al Habsi, 28, who has replaced Chris Kirkland, kept a clean sheet in the draw against Birmingham last week.

The former trainee fireman used to train at dawn in Oman after finishing his shifts in an attempt to become a professional footballer.

Al Habsi has brought that work ethic to Wigan, according to Martinez, after starting out at Lyn Oslo.

Martinez said: "We are all pleased Ali is with us and we will try to keep him here as long as we can.

"He has been a breath of fresh air since he came in. He loves his football and has high standards.

"It is very rare that a foreign player has real knowledge of the Premier League but Ali has developed that during his time in England.

"Since his first game he has been performing at a very good level. He has been very consistent and assured.

"He has developed a great relationship with the back four and that is always important. But the main thing is he is enjoying his football."

Source: Team_Talk