Martinez opens door to fringe men

16 February 2011 11:00

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has challenged a number of his fringe players to earn themselves a role in the Latics' relegation battle with a good FA Cup performance on Wednesday night.

Bolton visit the DW Stadium for a fourth-round replay and, as in previous matches in the cup, Martinez plans to make a number of changes from the team which earned a creditable draw at Liverpool on Saturday.

"I see it as a great opportunity to increase the squad of players we are going to have available until the end of the season," he said. "Places are up for grabs because the position we are in the table does not guarantee anyone a place in the starting line-up."

Martinez added: "It is quite clear who needs to have the chance to play and every game is an opportunity for any player to show what they can do and how much they want to be involved until the end of the season. It is an important game we can perform well in and add players into the final run-in."

The Latics are unbeaten in their last four matches but with 11 games to go in the Barclays Premier League and the club still stuck in 18th place Martinez is looking for his squad to continue their improvement.

"The cup run has lifted the league form in the past. We have been very fortunate this season in that respect," said the Wigan boss. "The form of late has been very good. There is a real feeling of extra edge in our play because our options are better.

"We know we can improve in certain things but it gives us a lot of confidence in the last 11 games to get enough points to achieve our aim."

The winners of the tie face Fulham in the fifth round at the weekend.

Source: PA