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Martinez delighted by Wigan depth

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has talked up his team’s depth after making six changes to his starting XI in the FA Cup win over Huddersfield.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has talked up his team’s depth after making six changes to his starting XI in the FA Cup win over Huddersfield.

Martinez brought Joel, Roman Golobart, Jordi Gomez, Fraser Fyvie, Arouna Kone and Callum McManaman into his starting line-up for the trip to Huddersfield and his team did not disappoint, winning 4-1 over the Championship club.

With four of the new starters aged 22 or younger, Martinez extolled Wigan’s improving depth and ability to develop young players.

“We coped with their threat really well, we moved the ball well, kept it well on a difficult pitch and overall did not look like a team who had made six changes,” Martinez said after Sunday’s game.

“That’s what we’re looking for within the club, to develop youngsters that can step into the side and know what they’re doing.

“Our desire in the FA Cup is as strong as it is in the league.

“We’ve been in the Premier League for eight seasons and there will be no bigger achievement if we make it nine and we’re also in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.”

McManaman scored the opening goal of the game, giving Wigan the lead in the 31st minute with a cool finish over Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies and Martinez revealed afterwards he had bluffed the 21-year-old winger before the FA Cup tie.

“(Callum) loves playing football and when he started to guess that he was going to be starting he was getting too hyped up,” Martinez said.

“He would then have a bad night’s sleep and we would never be able to get 90 minutes out of him.

“In the previous rounds when he started against Macclesfield and Bournemouth he found it really difficult and I could see yesterday in training he was doing extra work in the gym and I could see he was showing a bit of anxiety.

“So I pulled him over and said I wasn’t sure if he was going to start so you can imagine he had a great night’s sleep and was a bit angry and this morning when he found out he was playing he was delighted.”

Huddersfield’s manager Mark Robins, who only joined from Coventry City last week, maintained he was not completely disappointed in his new team’s performance after the loss to Wigan, although the 43-year-old said he will need time to reshape the side.

“There were some glimpses of some good football and decent movement,” Robins said.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time to get the team set up how I’d like it but there’s some good quality in there.”

Mon 18 February, 2013
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