Football

Wigan Athletic Vs Hull City, Mon 3 May 2010

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Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is likely to be without Hendry Thomas and Marcelo Moreno for the visit of Hull to the DW Stadium.

Thomas has missed the last four matches with a quad injury and the midfielder is yet to resume full training.

Striker Moreno came off in the first half with a calf problem against West Ham last weekend and is now nursing his hamstring.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan insists staying in the Barclays Premier League has to be the club's goal again next season.

Whelan, 73, believes they do not have the resources to be pushing for a place that would propel them among the continent's finest.

He told Press Association Sport: "We are Wigan Athletic and when we set off at the start of the season all we are looking for is survival.

"It is no use thinking we can get into Europe. We can have ambition and that's finishing in the top half of the league.

"That's what Roberto is intent on doing in this coming season. But if we survive, it's success."

It has been a mixed debut season for Spanish coach Martinez, who arrived in the summer from Swansea.

His side have enjoyed home victories against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal - with Charles N'Zogbia scoring a late winner - but shipped nine goals at Tottenham.

Whelan, who has seen the club spectacularly climb the pyramid from the backwaters of non-league football to the top flight appears to have lost none of his enthusiasm despite a roller-coaster ride.

He said: "When I came in and where we are now you cannot comprehend. Wigan were playing non-league football 25 years ago. I was a member of the board when they were in the Lancashire Combination.

"To play Arsenal here and beat them was the finest moment of my life. When that winning goal went in I have never felt anything so good. Everything we have done for that one moment in time was worth it."

Hull striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink could return to the side.

The Dutchman, who was knocked unconscious in the 2-0 defeat by Aston Vila last week, was due to return to training on Saturday.

Vennegoor of Hesselink may come in as a straight swap for Jozy Altidore, whose three-match suspension following his red card against Sunderland last weekend takes him to the end of his loan spell, but youngster Mark Cullen is also in contention.

Dean Marney has recovered from illness but Kamil Zayatte, Ian Ashbee, Richard Garcia (all knee) and Stephen Hunt (foot) are all out for the season.

Iain Dowie has called for a positive response to adversity from his Hull players.

The Tigers were all but relegated from the Barclays Premier League last weekend following a 1-0 defeat by Sunderland and the club have already begun preparing for Coca-Cola Championship football next season.

But, with games against Wigan and Liverpool to come, Dowie wants his side to finish the season with as many points as possible. And a first away win of the season would be the perfect riposte.

Dowie said: "I've made a point of saying to the players it's very much about playing for professional pride now, about making sure the integrity of what the club's about is shown in very clear and stark terms at Wigan.

"We've got a very poor away record and it would be great to go there and try and get a result that gets rid of that."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Wigan Athletic
Hull City

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