Season Preview: Wigan Athletic

Last updated : 13 August 2009 By Paul Farrington
How did you fare last season?
After a slow start we really came to form and were chasing a European spot at Christmas time. However, the departures of Wilson Palacios and Emile Heskey in January hit us hard and we dropped down the league but were never really in danger of relegation.

How do you expect you'll do this season?
I'm hoping Martinez can replicate his Swansea form and deliver us to a top half finish whilst playing some stylish football.

However, it could easily go the other way. The team has been somewhat overhauled during the close season and a bad start could see us struggle.

Hopefully it will be the former and we'll be talking about Europe again
over the Christmas turkey.

What have you done in the transfer market this summer? Which of your new signings are you expecting most from?
Jason Scotland will be interesting as he looks a bit like a human battering ram.

I'm hoping Charles N'Zogbia can show his ability on the left flank after his January signing from Newcastle.

Whilst we're set to sign a defensive duo from Rayo Vallecano on Spain who could prove to be interesting acquisitions. Both players were said to be attracting interest from Barca and Real.

Scott Sinclair from Chelsea and Jordi Gomez from Swansea are our wild cards who people won't know too much about.

Where do you think you'll need to strengthen in the January transfer window?
Defensively we're pretty solid but I think we'll need a forward as goals will be hard to come by.

Have you any promising youngsters breaking into the team?
We have a few for a change. Tomasz Kuspisz and Tomasz Cykwa are two young Polish players who could well be given their chance this season, whilst Callum McManaman is another 18-year-old hoping to make an impression after his debut at the tail end of last season.

We have also added James McCarthy from Hamilton who was interesting Liverpool this time last year. At just 17 years old he is certainly an interesting prospect.

Have you got the right man in charge of the team? Will he still be there at the end of the season?
Martinez was the only man for Wigan the day Steve Bruce left. The Spaniard holds legendary status in Wigan and supporters are certainly hoping he can do well for the team.

Chairman Dave Whelan has said that Martinez will still be in a job should the club get relegated. Hopefully we won't have to test his word on that one.

Is the club being run well? Are you likely to be singing 'Sack the board' any time soon?
The club is run relatively well although the transfer money from the Palacios (14m), Heskey (3.5m), Valencia (15m) and Cattermole (6m) transfers doesn't seem to have materialised.

Which team do you most want to beat and why?
Bolton. They're our local neighbours and we have a long history of rivalry with them, so it's always nice to beat the Trotters.

Who do you think will win the league?
Manchester United. Valencia will easily replace Ronaldo.

Who do you think's going down?
Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers, Portsmouth

How do you think Hull City will fare this season?
It could be an interesting one as the Tigers struggled towards the latter stages of last season and haven't added too much quality to the team. I think you will be okay though as there are any one of a number of sides that could easily go down this year.

Paul Farrington is editor of

Click here to read what Paul said at the end of last season about how Wigan got on in 2008/09