herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Martinez: Safety starts at home

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has urged his players to start racking up the home wins if they are to avoid the drop this season.

The Latics have the fewest number of home victories in the Premier League this campaign, with fans at the DW Stadium watching them take maximum points just twice.

Apart from Blackpool, Martinez's side have picked up the fewest number of points on home soil with 12, and other than Birmingham, have scored the fewest goals at home, with 11.

Martinez is aware they are statistics that have to change, starting with tonight's visit of Aston Villa.

"The level of performance at home has been really good, but we have to look after the scorelines when the performances are good," he said.

"I feel that we've drawn too many games we should have won, which is something we need to change."

With Wigan collecting just 22 points from their 23 matches overall so far to leave them in 18th place, Martinez also feels the safety bar could be higher than recent seasons.

Last season, 31 points would have been enough for survival; at the end of the 2008-09 campaign it was 35, whilst the previous year it was 36.

"I think there are going to be so many twists and turns between now and the end of the season, which is going to be fascinating for everyone," added Martinez.

"But you feel you are going to need more points than was the case last season, probably closer to the 40-point mark this time around."

Skipper Gary Caldwell serves a one-match suspension following his dismissal at Arsenal, while Antolin Alcaraz is out for two weeks with a soft tissue injury. James McCarthy could return after a three-month lay-off with an ankle problem.

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