Martinez putting his faith in reserves for Cup journey to Forest


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Wigan Athletic manager, Roberto Martinez, is counting on his squad's strength in depth to see him through tonight's Capital One Cup second-round tie away at Nottingham Forest.

The Latics face a stiff test at the City Ground after Saturday's impressive 2-0 Premier League win at Southampton, with Forest unbeaten in their first three Championship games after a win and two draws.

Martinez, pictured, said yesterday: "It's an opportunity for some other players to show what they can do and show that they can have a massive say this season."

Of Saturday's starters Gary Caldwell and James McCarthy are likely to be among those sitting it out, while David Jones, Ben Watson, Albert Crusat, Callum McManaman, and Mauro Boselli could get starts.

Martinez's philosophy towards the cup is shared by his West Ham United counterpart, Sam Allardyce, who has told his players that tonight's home tie against Crewe is an opportunity for players to cement regular first-team places.

The Hammers go into the game on the back of a 3-0 defeat at Swansea City, but Allardyce is confident the mix of experience and youth will see them through against League One opponents at Upton Park, with his signings Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga likely to play.

"They are staking a claim to be playing as early as Fulham next week," he said. "We'll have an experienced squad with a couple of younger players and it should be enough to beat Crewe and get us into the next round."

Although the Southampton manager, Nigel Adkins, will give his youth graduates playing time at Stevenage tonight, he insists his side will take the competition seriously.

Adkins is likely to start the Japanese striker Tadanari Lee, who was kept out of the tail-end of last season after undergoing a foot operation.

"If you have got a shirt on playing for Southampton, you have a winning mentality that we have here," Adkins said. "We want to go out and endeavour to win every game."

Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher could make Sunderland debuts against Morecambe, while Michael Laudrup will be looking to mix up his Swansea City squad against Barnsley, with Ben Davies and Kyle Barley likely to get a start.