Partying Palacios ready for Latics

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Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios expects the qualities that sparked an extended World Cup party in Honduras to be on display when Wigan arrive at White Hart Lane.

Palacios almost missed the win over Portsmouth last month as the president of Honduras ordered a party to celebrate their World Cup qualification for South Africa next summer, where the South Americans, whose only previous appearance came in Spain in 1982, will look to showcase their powerful team.

However, the 25-year-old and international team-mate Hendry Thomas, who share more than 100 caps between them, will first be battling against each other in midfield this weekend.

Palacios left Wigan in January and has since earned praise for his no-nonsense approach, with Spurs boss Harry Redknapp deeming the #12million fee to be money well spent for what the midfielder brings.

"I have always played football in this way, ever since I was young in Honduras, football is very raw, very strong, but there is plenty of technique too," Palacios said.

"All the kids in Honduras play like that. The blend of technique and toughness suits the Premier League very well but the thing about the game here is the speed, we have to adapt to that very quickly.

"The speed is something that really hits you when you come here."

Although Palacios will come face-to-face with his Honduras team-mate tomorrow, he is reluctant to draw comparisons.

"Hendry is a good player but I wouldn't say that he is similar to me," he said.

"We don't really share the same style and I believe we like to play a different sort of game but, nonetheless, he is hard to play against.

"Maynor Figueroa, their left-back, probably won't play on Sunday because he is injured, but he is also a good friend of mine from the national side along with Hendry.

"I still have many friends at the club and I've had three weeks of them talking to me about the game, sending me loads of texts."

Redknapp has Ledley King out with a hamstring problem but Aaron Lennon is back following an ankle injury, easing Spurs' attacking concerns as Luka Modric's return from a fractured fibula has been slower than expected.

Consistency is the new key word at Wigan as manager Roberto Martinez looks to build on a solid start to the season.

Despite ending Chelsea's 100% record and being the only team to so far beat Aston Villa and Burnley on their own grounds the Latics are locked in mid-table.

That is mainly due to results like the home loss to newcomers Wolves and defeats at Hull and bottom club Portsmouth.

Having won four and drawn two of their opening 12 matches Martinez is now looking for an improvement in the next 12 fixtures.

"We have been really pleased with certain flashes of games this season but the lack of consistency is a negative of the period," said the Spaniard.

"From a football point of view it doesn't really make sense.

We are the only team to beat Burnley and Aston Villa away and the first team to beat Chelsea.

"Then losing against teams who, with all due respect, haven't had the best results in the last couple of months - like Portsmouth, like Hull or Wolves - is disappointing.

"In a way it shows you the potential we have got as when we play well we can beat anyone in the Premier League and when we don't play well we can be beaten by anyone.

"We need consistency. I never look at the team in terms of points in the table, I always believe the level of performance will give you the amount of points you deserve over a season.

"The focus is on that for the next 12 games to see how we have progressed from the first day of the campaign.

"I have been very pleased with many aspects but we need to make sure we are a consistent team." Martinez's first job is to mastermind Wigan's first victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane tomorrow.

Wigan defender Erik Edman will face his former club as he continues to deputise at left-back for the injured Maynor Figueroa.

The Swede made his first Premier League start since the end of last season last time out in the draw at Fulham as Figueroa was sidelined with a knee ligament problem and is still at least a week away from recovery.

Honduras midfielder Hendry Thomas missed his flight back from international duty in Central America but will be back in time to train with the squad on Saturday.

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

Tottenham Hotspur
Aaron Lennon
Ledley King
Hendry Thomas
Premier League
Maynor Figueroa
Wigan Athletic
Luka Modric
Aston Villa
Hull City
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wilson Palacios

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