Martinez salutes Latics progress

01 August 2010 01:26
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez claims Latics are in "perfect shape" as they return from their pre-season training camp in Austria.

The week-long trip - the second of the month after a similar tour of Sweden - saw Latics play two matches as well as working on tactics ahead of the new season.

And the Wigan boss insists everything is falling into place exactly two weeks before the big kick-off against Blackpool on August 14.

He told the Wigan Evening Post: "We're in a good place at the moment, with no injuries which is the main priority.

"The work has been controlled, the players are looking after themselves in between sessions and now is the time to start slowing down the work in order to sharpen the players up.

"That's the kind of work they tend to enjoy a little bit more, but you can see now that the players are mentally ready for the new season.

"There are two games still to go (against Real Zaragoza on Wednesday and Dundee United next Sunday) and many more sessions as well, but overall we are where we wanted to be at this stage."

Latics got off to a winning start in Austria with a 4-1 victory over Slovenian outfit NK Rudar, although they were tested a little more during the 0-0 draw with Turkish side Genclerbirligi on Thursday afternoon.

"That was was another good exercise for us," Martinez added. "We tried many things we've been working on lately in training and I was happy with the levels of concentration and intensity.

"There were spells when we had to defend heavily, and we came through those tests very well.

"We also saw many partnerships forming around the pitch, players enjoying their roles and overall a very satisfying 90 minutes.

"Genclerbirligi provided a good test, and are a team that clearly enjoy moving the ball around.

"It was also good to see Ali Al Habsi complete the full 90 minutes and give a commanding performance at the same time."

Al Habsi apart, Martinez has been especially pleased with the speed in which James McArthur has taken to life at his new club.

"James has looked extremely natural, as though he has been playing for Wigan Athletic for a few seasons already," the Spaniard added.

"Within five minutes he was shouting for the ball, organising the team and working very hard. That comes natural to him.

"Physically, he is very capable and he is a great prospect. And it's only a matter of time before we see him playing for Scotland."

Source: Team_Talk