Martinez wary of Norwich City threat
Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez believes today’s Barclays Premier League opener against Norwich City is “one of the hardest games they could have hoped for”.
The Latics chief is wary of the momentum the Canaries will take into the top-flight on the back of successive promotions and thinks a lack of Premier League experience won’t hinder Paul Lambert’s men.
“Norwich are the prime example of a winning momentum; to achieve two promotions in a row, finding a new way to play and a system that perfectly suits their players is very impressive.
“They’re used to winning games, creating chances and are very brave on the pitch and play with a lot of different dimensions. Above all that they’re going to be full of energy for their start in the Barclays Premier League, so it’s probably one of the hardest games we could have hoped for.
“There are players with great experience in squad and that means being newcomers to the top-flight won’t have too much effect on them.
“Paul Lambert is going to have many options available having made some clever signings during the summer, and he already has many important players within his team.”
Martinez is sweating on the fitness of star midfielder James McCarthy, who injured his ankle in his side’s final pre-season friendly against Villareal last Saturday. “James is the real worry; his challenge against Villarreal was an unfortunate moment,” said Martinez.
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“It seems unlikely he’ll be able to make the squad to take on Norwich this weekend. We’ll build his fitness back up as soon as possible but at the moment it’s unlikely he’ll make Saturday.”
The Spaniard must also decide whether to risk Antolin Alcaraz and Hugo Rodallega after the pair’s involvement in the Copa America over the summer.
West Brom have rejected an undisclosed bid from Wigan for last season’s leading scorer Peter Odemwingie, the West Midlands club have confirmed.
Odemwingie scored 15 Barclays Premier League goals in his first campaign with the Baggies and played a major role in them staying in the top flight.
The Nigerian international has been linked with several clubs during the summer and is currently in negotiations over a new contract – but Wigan are the first club to have made an official offer. Albion sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth insisted the Baggies have no plans to sell Odemwingie.