Wigan boss Martinez praises players

Roberto Martinez and his team enjoyed a week away. Photo: PA

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez insists his players conducted themselves with professionalism during a "very positive" warm weather training camp this week.

The Latics - who with 12 Barclays Premier League games to go are second-bottom of the table, three points adrift of safety - have been in Tenerife over the last few days.

After pictures of players lying by the pool were posted on Twitter, Wigan captain Gary Caldwell issued a statement on behalf of the squad stressing to the club's fans that he and his team-mates were working hard on the trip and "totally committed and focused on the fight" to avoid relegation.

Those sentiments have been echoed today by Martinez, who has taken Wigan on similar camps for the past few seasons and expressed his delight at how this one had gone.

Speaking this morning ahead of Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round trip to Huddersfield, Martinez said: "The benefits we have had over the years have been massive.

"I understand that certain pictures can send the wrong message, but the players were very professional.

"They took advantage of being together for such a long period and we worked a lot more than we would have done here because of the weather.

"The players and the captain especially were quick to come out and apologise if there was any wrong message sent to the fans.

"They have some time to rest as you would imagine, and if you can do that with a bit of sun, it really helps the bodies.

"Overall, it was a very positive time, not just for the group dynamics but also with the work we put in.

"It is going to give us a real good focus for the final third of the season."

Martinez was keen to highlight the work the camp allowed Wigan to do with players on their lengthy injury list, and suggested several might return to action this weekend.

"It has been very beneficial as you can expect to go away and have 24 hours a day with the players, and ones that got a real benefit were the injured players," Martinez said.

"Antolin Alcaraz, Emmerson Boyce and Ryo Miyaichi are working with the group and they could be involved on Sunday - none of them are ready to play 90 minutes, but they could be involved.

"Adrian Lopez is probably the fittest out of the four, and then Ben Watson, Albert Crusat and Ivan Ramis are still long-term injured at this point."

Martinez also indicated he is likely to hand another opportunity to some fringe players that have come into the team for previous cup games in the clash with the Terriers, who are 18th in the npower Championship and yesterday appointed Mark Robins as successor to sacked boss Simon Grayson.

Meanwhile, Martinez has confirmed Wigan have looked at Real Madrid goalkeeper Antonio Adan in the past, but played down current reports linking them with a move for the 25-year-old.

"There was an interest we showed a few years back - I think that goes back probably two or three seasons," Martinez said of his fellow Spaniard.

"But there is nothing to comment on at the moment. We brought Joel Robles to the club (in January, on loan for the rest of the season from Atletico Madrid) and we are very happy with him.

"Obviously Ali Al Habsi has been number one for a few seasons and Mike Pollitt now unfortunately is out injured, but we hope he will make a speedy recovery.

"The links with Adan come from two or three seasons ago. I think it is people putting two and two together and getting an awful score."