Football

Wigan boss makes case for defence

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Wigan manager Roberto Martinez insists the arrival of two centre-backs within the space of two days this week does not indicate a concern about his defence.

The Spaniard has brought in Celtic captain Gary Caldwell and Ivory Coast international Steven Gohouri, having completed a loan deal for reserve goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic seven days ago.

Last season's player of the year, Titus Bramble, and Emmerson Boyce have again been the first-choice pair in the centre of defence this season but Martinez believes additional competition will be healthy for them and the rest of the squad.

"Obviously two defenders and a goalkeeper coming in at the same time probably sends the wrong message," said Martinez. "It is not that I am not happy with the defenders at all, I want a stronger squad with more options and to have a different way to play the game if I have to."

He added: "To do that we will have to bring in players in all positions and not just the back.

"I want to sign players in every department and that is what we are going to use the January window for.

"We need to maintain the good things we have done in the first part of the season and the other side is the inconsistency.

"To do that we need certain individuals and extra competition in every single position."

Martinez hopes the arrival of Caldwell will provide organisation and leadership to a defence that has, at times, looked shaky.

"I have been a big admirer of Gary, I've seen him play many times - especially in Europe," said the Latics boss. "I think Gary is one of those players from a dying breed; an out-and-out leader and a great talker.

"He is probably in the best moment of his career at 27. He has been through many experiences and it seems the Premier League is the next step. All the human qualities he has are something we are going to welcome massively. He is ready to play and knows about the demands of the Premier League."

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Wigan Athletic

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