Martinez ready for Reading rumble

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is wary of underestimating Reading as he prepares his injury-ravaged side for the Premier League match at the DW Stadium.

Celebrating after 8 minutes...

The Latics could be without seven first-team players, with Ben Watson's broken leg and captain Gary Caldwell's hamstring problem the latest worries for the Spaniard.

Midfielder James McArthur, winger Albert Crusat and centre-back Antolin Alcaraz also look set to miss out, although strikers Franco Di Santo and Ryo Miyaichi could recover from their respective calf and ankle problems and will undergo late fitness tests.

Reading finally earned their first Premier League win of the season against Everton last weekend and sit one place below Wigan in 17th.

Martinez, keen to end his side's two-game losing streak, knows Wigan need to recapture their form while keeping the Royals' confidence in check.

"It will be a big mistake to expect that you can play against Reading and get a positive result," Martinez said.

"For the way they play and the quality they have, their biggest strength is their confidence and the winning mentality they had last season in the Championship.

"Their work ethic is incredible and although last week was their first win of the campaign, believe me when I say that they've come very close to three points long before that game.

"Their performances have been better than the results they have had. You get to know very quickly in this league that every game will present you with a different challenge and every game is very difficult for its own reasons.

"I'm sure Reading will look at this as a great opportunity to come to Wigan and get a result, but we're playing at home and we had two negative results and we really need to get back to that level we showed in that period with our victory at Spurs and West Ham."

Stability could be a problem for Martinez with so many injury concerns, but the Latics boss is positive several players will be fit for important home games against Manchester City, QPR and Arsenal in the run up to Christmas.

Crusat is a few weeks away from making a return from his knee injury while Martinez expects Alcaraz's groin problem to clear up for the start of next month and McArthur to be back from a dead leg suffered three weeks ago within the expected timeframe.

"I'm not concerned (about McArthur's recovery time) because it was a really nasty knock and internally had a really soft tissue problem and that damage takes time," Martinez said.

"The problem is that James is such an active person and he gets really frustrated and he wants to be out there helping the team but those kind of injuries take four to six weeks.

"We are within the normal expected recovery time for James."



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