Martinez backs Kirkland

18 October 2009 10:37
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes Chris Kirkland is still the best goalkeeper available to England. Kirkland appears to be well down the pecking order in Fabio Capello's goalkeeping plans due to his recurring injury problem. However, Martinez believes the former Liverpool and Coventry custodian is over his injury concerns and deserves to be England's No.1 for next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa. "My belief is if Chris performs at his best, he'll go to the World Cup as England's No 1 goalkeeper," said Martinez. "Fabio Capello picks players in form and at the moment the goalkeeping spot is wide open. "So Chris has a fantastic challenge on his hands. To go to the World Cup you have to be at the top of your form. I won't call Fabio. That's not down to me. If he asks me my opinion then I will give it honestly and in every single detail. "Chris's performances will force the issue, not me. "Once he has the attention of Capello then I would be willing to give him a break down of his training, how he has changed his work and how his injury problems are now a thing of the past. Chris is a different footballer now. "The way he was training a few years ago was affecting his fitness - that's changed. He is a big boy with a big frame and needs to find the right intensity in training without overdoing it. "Unfortunately, he has that label of being injury prone - and that's just not the case. "Chris Kirkland has all the ingredients to be the No 1."

Source: SKY_Sports