Martinez pleased to see Kirkland back

21 October 2010 03:30
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has no worries about throwing Chris Kirkland back into Barclays Premier League action when Bolton visit the DW Stadium on Saturday. The former England goalkeeper has not played since conceding six goals at home to Chelsea in August but, with Ali Al-Habsi ineligible to play against his parent club, Martinez will turn to the 29-year-old. Wigan's thrashing by Chelsea came only a week after their 4-0 home defeat by Blackpool on the opening day of the season, which prompted Martinez to make changes, with Kirkland's back problem playing a part in his decision. Al-Habsi has grabbed his chance impressively but the Latics boss has complete faith in Kirkland and has praised his attitude during his time on the sidelines. Martinez said: "We have to remember Chris Kirkland wasn't fully fit at the start of the season. He's been working really well, he's been pain free for a long time and he's ready. "Chris Kirkland's going to play at the weekend and that's something that we're all excited about. Chris is not a young man, he's very, very experienced and he's always performed as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. "He's been a real help around the dressing room, giving the right advice at the right time. He's really helped the team and that's huge credit to him. It's important as an experienced footballer to have an impact even when you're not in the first XI and Chris has been a fantastic example."

Source: PA