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Martinez: Bright future for Diame

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 Nov 2009

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Roberto Martinez has predicted a bright future for the Latics’ midfielder Mohamed Diame after an imperious performance from the young French midfielder drew comparisons with Patrick Vieira.

Diame, who was the dominant figure at the DW Stadium as Wigan drew 1-1 with Fulham, saw his team held to frustrating draw as a defiant Mark Schwarzer ensured a point for the visitors.

At least Martinez could have some confidence for the future, not least with the performance of his 22-year-old central midfielder bought from Spanish second division side Rayo Vallecano for £3.5million in the summer under the noses of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Arsenal.

Martinez said: “It’s rare to find someone with power, true quality and composure on the ball, Patrick Vieira had that.

“Playing in Spain allowed Momo to be a little bit different and when he fully understands the nature of the British game he will be a special player in the Premier League.

“He’s only 22 and he’s still adapting to the British game but he’s someone who can go as high as he wants to go.”

Clint Dempsey’s penalty secured a 1-1 draw for Fulham after Emmerson Boyce had put Wigan in front, and Martinez admitted he was disappointed.

“I’m happy with the performance but not the point,” he said.

“If you look at the amount of chances we created we wanted to get all three.

“The difference between one point and three was Mark Schwarzer – his display was outstanding.”

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson declared himself delighted with the away point at Wigan and revealed he is hopeful of agreeing a contract extension in the near future.

Hodgson said: “It’s something that has been discussed over a period of time. The club have been keen to organise a contract for me to stay longer and I am not averse to the idea.

“Hopefully something will be sorted out in the near future as they are keen to get something done.

“I have been treated magnificently by the Fulham fans and everyone at Fulham. It has been a really good two years – I like the club and the fans and feel it has been reciprocated.”

Hodgson said most teams would be happy to leave the DW Stadium with a point against Martinez’s side.

He added: “I was very pleased with the point, especially after the excitement and pressure of the Liverpool game and the grave disappointment in Rome in midweek.

“Wigan are a very good team and the players showed a lot of character and determination so I have to be really happy with a point.

“It was more a 3-3 game than a 1-1 and Mark Schwarzer had to bring off some spectacular saves from their long-range shooting.”

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