Wigan Athletic Vs Queens Park Rangers, Sat 27 Aug 2011

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Wigan manager Roberto Martinez may not have been a busy man in the transfer market, but he is delighted to have three of his key players tied down to new deals ahead of their match against QPR.

James McCarthy, Ben Watson and Emmerson Boyce have all penned new contracts at the DW Stadium as Martinez looks to give stability to the side that just avoided relegation last season.

The game at home to QPR, which has been brought forward after the Wigan Warriors reached the Challenge Cup final, represents Wigan's third consecutive game against a newly-promoted team and, although the visitors have been quieter than expected in the transfer market, their business outweighs Martinez's side.

But the 38-year-old Spaniard has focused more on tying down the talent he already has rather than accruing new players.

"We love to speak about possible targets and possible signings but the reality is that the future of your football club lies in the stability of the dressing room and having the right characters and personalities," he said.

McCarthy has signed a new five-year deal, despite being linked with a summer move away from Wigan, and his manager is in no doubt the Republic of Ireland international will have a prosperous time in the north west.

Martinez said: "It is great, great news. James is only 20 and he has over 40 starts in the PL to achieve that and the manner in which he has had with his role with Wigan Athletic it shows his maturity goes well beyond his age.

"For him to commit himself is really good news and James is a true ambassador for Wigan Athletic and we are delighted he has committed his future alongside Ben Watson and Emmerson Boyce."

Despite the new contracts, Martinez may be forced into the transfer market as he has lost key players to injuries.

Antolin Alcaraz and Steve Gohouri are definitely out, while Victor Moses and Hugo Rodallega may also be absent on Saturday.

QPR manager Neil Warnock admits last weekend's victory at Everton has given everybody at the club a "massive lift" and is looking for a similar result at the DW Stadium.

The R's return to the Barclays Premier League after a 15-year absence started in the worst possible manner when they were trounced 4-0 by Bolton at Loftus Road.

However, the west Londoners recovered in style last weekend when Tommy Smith's solitary effort helped to secure three points at Goodison Park.

Warnock's side went onto lose against Rochdale in the Carling Cup in midweek, but the R's boss believes there is a lot to build on.

"It has given everybody a massive lift," he said of the Everton victory. "The first game was cruel.

"With all the build-up and the way that we lost, it was a difficult week for us.

"The club was changing hands, and we didn't know whether it was going to happen or whether it wasn't.

"It was always touch and go so there were a lot of concerns in that respect.

"There were also a lot of concerns that the players were a bit shell-shocked early in the week [after the Bolton result].

"Then there was the virus later in the week, which even this week we have still lost a couple to.

"That is football, though. It never ceases to amaze you as we go and get a result like that at Everton.

"And believe you me, it would not surprise me if Everton don't lose another game at home this season. They have got a great squad so it is a fantastic result.

"It gives us a little bit of confidence and we know Wigan is going to be difficult, plus my old player Victor Moses is flying at the moment.

"It will be a tough match but it is better to go in with the points on the board that we have got, knowing we have got two weeks and that we are going to bring in four or five good players."

As Warnock alludes to, he is expecting a busy few days as the summer transfer window enters its latter stages.

The former Sheffield United boss has cut a frustrated figure in the transfer market this summer, but Tony Fernandes' recent takeover of the club has boosted the coffers.

Midfielder Joey Barton's move from Newcastle has been finalised this afternoon, the 28-year-old signing a four-year contract.

The club are also in talks with Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips and Aston Villa full-back Luke Young, and have additionally been linked with West Ham forward Zavon Hines.

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

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Joey Barton
Emmerson Boyce
Antolin Alcaraz
Ben Watson
Hugo Rodallega
Premier League
Luke Young
Tommy Smith
Steve Gohouri
Tommy Smith
Victor Moses
James McCarthy
Zavon Hines
Shaun Wright-Phillips

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