Martinez: Fierce competition helping
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has paid tribute to his side's fighting spirit following a recent improvement in results. The Latics suffered a horrendous start to the 2010-11 Premier League season with comprehensive home thrashings at the hands of newly-promoted Blackpool and champions Chelsea. A relegation dogfight looked a near certainty following those results, however this season's prospects have improved dramatically with recent wins over Tottenham and Wolves and draws with Sunderland and Birmingham. And Spaniard Martinez has put the recent form reversal down to both the quality of his players, and their attitude. "You can see the concentration on the players' faces because they know the competition in the squad is fierce and they need to perform to keep their place," he told Wigan Today. "The options we have in the squad at the moment and the strength on the bench is something I don't think we've ever had during our time in the Premier League. "And they make a difference. Ronnie Stam, for example, really opened up the game when he came on last weekend against Wolves, he created big spaces and we took advantage from that, and that is credit to the football club in putting in the effort to bring players of such quality to the DW Stadium." Colombia international striker Hugo Rodallega has played every minute of Wigan's Premier League campaign, scoring two goals in seven games thus far. And Martinez spoke of his delight at the way he and fellow frontman Franco Di Santo have formed an effective partnership in recent weeks. He added: "Slowly we're starting to see the connections between the players in the final third of the pitch. "The movement just after the re-start for Franco's shot (against Wolves) was exceptional; between himself and Hugo Rodallega. "Then you have Charles (N'Zogbia) who, when he comes inside, adds quality and threat to our attack and you can see players up there with real talent. "When they are at full pace we become a real threat and we shouldn't underestimate that quality we have available."
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