Valencia blow for Latics

09 February 2009 01:38
Wigan winger Antonio Valencia has been ruled out for three weeks after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury against Fulham on Saturday.[LNB] The Ecuador international first picked up the injury in the 1-0 defeat at Manchester City and has subsequently missed the Latics' last two games.[LNB]But after coming through three training sessions in the week manager Steve Bruce opted to start the 23-year-old against the Cottagers.[LNB]The decision backfired as Valencia broke down after just 19 minutes of the 0-0 draw at the JJB Stadium and the former Birmingham boss admits he made a mistake.[LNB]"We have probably set him back two or three weeks," he told the Wigan Observer.[LNB]"Antonio trained during the week and thought he was fit, but hamstrings are injuries you really have to be careful with.[LNB]"You probably can't get away with only two or three training sessions when you're playing at this level."[LNB]It was a match to forgetten for Bruce after midfielder Michael Brown and striker Mido both had to be withdrawn before half-time.[LNB]MistakeBoth players had been absent from training during the week with Brown struggling with illness and Mido suffering a groin strain.[LNB]The Latics boss decided to gamble on the pair's fitness but again had to hold his hands up and admit that it had been the wrong decision.[LNB]"I messed up. I played too many players who weren't match fit or were only half-fit," he added.[LNB]"Mido was only half-fit, Brown had been sick before the game and wasn't right, and Valencia had only two or three training sessions.[LNB]"I put Hugo Rodallega in from the start and then Ben Watson came on after only 19 minutes, yet both hadn't started for six or seven weeks.[LNB]"With hindsight I wouldn't have picked the team I did. The one thing you can't do in the Premier League is play lads who are below their best.[LNB]"It doesn't do them or the team any good. Thankfully the back four were terrific and got us a point out of the game, we got away with it to that extent.[LNB]"But it was a bad day at the office. We didn't play well at all. In the two games against Fulham this season, they've given us more problems than any side have done.[LNB]"I thought they were excellent, so in many ways I'm pleased we got a draw and we're a point nearer to where we want to be."[LNB]The triple injury blow to the club is softened by the fact that the team have a rare weekend off next week after their early exit from the FA Cup.[LNB]

Source: SKY_Sports