Martinez wary of window exits
Wigan head to crisis club Aston Villa on Saturday with manager Roberto Martinez claiming he is facing his own window of uncertainty.
The Latics will haul their way out of the bottom three at Villa's expense if they manage to end their run of six matches without a win.
Yet even victory against a team that has conceded 12 times in its last two games won't have Martinez sleeping easily.
For he knows the transfer window is looming.
And whilst Martinez has already started the process of bringing in new players - Angelo Henriquez on loan from Manchester United and Honduran midfielder Roger Espinoza - others are being linked with moves elsewhere, namely goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and striker Franco di Santo.
It means Wigan have no real clue whether they will head into February with a squad roughly the same as the one they have now.
And Martinez doesn't like it.
"I don't agree with the window being open whilst you are playing official games," he said. "Sometimes we forget about the human part of the footballer.
"Everybody wants to hear what the next step in their career is. But that can become very disrespectful to the team and the fans when you are playing games.
"Victor Moses played against Chelsea in the opening game and their fans were singing 'we'll see you next week'. That is how incredible this situation is.
"Players should be allowed to think about their careers and their next move at the right time.
"In our case, these next five or six matches could be the most important five or six games in the club's history."
Saturday's trip to Villa Park is particularly significant.
Although they are three points behind Paul Lambert's men, such has been the cataclysmic effect on Villa's goal difference of those shattering defeats to Chelsea and Tottenham that Wigan know they will jump at least one place if they end their own wretched run.
Not that Martinez feels it will be easy.
He has been on the end of enough hammerings during his spell at Wigan to know such aberrations can happen to young squads when they are slowly being pieced together.
"It is a transitional period for Aston Villa," said Martinez, who nearly quit Wigan for Villa in the summer of 2011.
"But they have a lot of heart and are capable of competing against anyone on their day as they showed by winning at Liverpool.
"As I know from my time here, when you are building new partnerships and have a lot of young players you are going to get inconsistency."
Martinez has had his own troubles to contend with over the last few weeks.
A combination of injuries and suspensions have robbed him of almost his entire contingent of central defenders at times.
Only now are Wigan starting to see a glimmer of light, with Gary Caldwell returning at Everton on Boxing Day and both Ivan Ramis and Antolin Alcaraz, who is yet to feature at all this season, closing in on comebacks after hamstring and groin problems.
"Ivan is part of the squad now and is allowed to work with the group," said Martinez.
"He was on the bench against Everton on Boxing Day and has had an extra two training sessions since then.
"Is he able to play 90 minutes? It is too early for me to know that.
"I will find out pretty soon. He probably needs a bit more work but he will definitely be involved against Manchester United if not Aston Villa.
"That is a massive boost for us and I expect Antolin to be back in the next 10 days."
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