Martinez considers his options

Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009 by PA

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has hinted he may make changes for the visit of Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea tomorrow.

Last weekend's 4-0 defeat at Arsenal was the worst performance of the Spaniard's short reign and, with a fully-fit squad at his disposal, a few players could be left out.

On-loan Chelsea winger Scott Sinclair is ineligible against his parent club.

Wigan's players have to rid themselves of a perceived inferiority complex if they are to compete against the best teams in the Barclays Premier League, according to Martinez.

Since their promotion to the top flight in 2005 the Latics have yet to win against one of the 'big four'.

In 34 matches against Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea Wigan have managed just four draws - a paltry haul of four points from a possible 102.

Martinez said the difference was not the gulf in finance or world-class players but in the mind.

Having already lost 5-0 at home to United and 4-0 at Arsenal last week Wigan host Chelsea tomorrow looking to finally break their duck.

However, with Carlo Ancelotti's league leaders winning all of their six matches that will be a tall order.

Martinez believes until his players start to realise they have as good a chance as anyone against the 'big four' they will not be able to make the breakthrough.

"I think we have given them too much respect," he said.

"It is no coincidence we have played 34 games against them - a huge number of games - and not beaten them. It is a staggering statistic.

"It is more than the fitness or tactical and technical aspects, it is the psychological approach to the game which is something we needed to change.

"We need to be stronger mentally because that will allow our football to challenge the team on the pitch.

"You shouldn't perform in a different way just because you are playing the top four.

"If you perform in the same way and they are better than you then we'll take that but we shouldn't give the game to another side just because of their name or reputation.

"We probably needed a respectful performance - if you want to call it that - against Arsenal to realise that.

"If that is the price we had to pay it will be well worth it.

"But it (their top-four record) is not a monkey on our back because there is no shame in losing to these sides."

Joe Cole and Yury Zhirkov are included in Chelsea's squad.

Both successfully overcame long-term knee injuries to make their comebacks in the midweek Carling Cup victory over Queens Park Rangers.

Didier Drogba is fit after recovering from a bout of cramp but midfielder Deco (calf) and defender Alex (groin) will miss out.

Carlo Ancelotti wants to remain at Chelsea for as long as possible and then bring down the curtain on his career in six years time.

The Italian coach has guided Chelsea to eight straight wins in all competitions so far this season.

But the former AC Milan coach admits he has changed his mind about retiring on a number of occasions since he began his managerial adventure in 1995.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he will never retire from the profession but Ancelotti has set his sights on finally walking away from the game in 2015.

"I started to train in 1995 and, after two years of this job, I thought that, for me, I would end my career in 2000," said Ancelotti.

"When I got to 2000, I said: "Now it's better to continue because I like this."

"I thought I'd close my career in 2005 but after the Champions League final defeat against Liverpool, I thought it was better to continue. Now, my stop is 2015.

"I hope to stay here. It depends not only on me. But I can say that, after three months here, I hope to stay a long time."




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