Wigan V Aston Villa at The DW Stadium : Match Preview
25 February 2012 09:04
Martinez moving on from N'Zogbia
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez refuses to dwell on the past and believes Charles N'Zogbia, on his first return to the DW Stadium with Aston Villa, has to do the same.
The French winger left the Latics in the summer having played a major part in keeping them in the Barclays Premier League.
His record for Wigan was far from spectacular, with 18 goals in 90 appearances, but many of his performances were vital in their continued survival in the top flight.
Since his #9.5million summer move he has found the net once in 23 games and his displays have been patchy.
Martinez had the option to follow N'Zogbia to Villa Park at the end of last season as a replacement for Gerard Houllier but remained loyal to Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who has so much faith in the Spaniard.
"You go past that when you make a decision. The decision from a human point of view was the right one," Martinez told Press Association Sport.
"I will never look back to that - and there is too much at stake at the moment to think about individual issues: my decision, when we sold Charles N'Zogbia.
"There are clear links between the two clubs but at the moment the game is so important for us and all that counts is to get the points we need to achieve our aim of staying in the Premier League.
"All the individual issues should be in the background."
Wigan are bottom of the table but only two points from safety and nine adrift of Saturday's visitors, who are 15th.
Striker Callum McManaman has recovered from a back problem while a number of players were able to overcome colds and viruses during the club's recent trip to Oman.
Influential midfielder Mohamed Diame may be set for his first appearance since returning from the African Nations Cup, having remained on the bench a fortnight ago for the vital win at Bolton.
Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has challenged N'Zogbia to start producing the form he showed for Wigan on a consistent basis
"I've been up there many times playing Wigan in the past with my team before and Charles was one of the differences," he said.
"At the end of last season for Wigan, I thought he was the guy that made the difference.
"If he can bring that form to us on a really consistent level, then Charles is going to make a name (for himself) at Aston Villa."
McLeish added: "Charles has been slow to settle but you only have to look at other examples up and down the country.
"Why has Andy Carroll been slow to settle at Liverpool. Why has Stewart Downing been slow to settle there? You are talking about two great players.
"It is just one of the mysteries of football. You tend to think when you get an English player, or a player who has been playing in England, that they will hit the ground running.
"But sometimes they need time to settle in so I don't think it is unique to Charles.
"Charles has shown us some great moments and hopefully there will be a few more from now until the end of the season."
McLeish is hoping striker Gabriel Agbonlahor will also make an impact on his return after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury.
He said: "We are no different to any other team in the country in that, if you are missing your top players, it can be a big miss.
"Gabby is one of the top players at this club and is feared throughout the Premier League.
"He is always a threat because of his pace and the way he imposes himself on a game. If he imposes himself, every player in the country would be frightened of him."
Fellow striker Robbie Keane will make his final appearance on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy and has made a favourable impression with three goals in five starts for Villa.