Roberto Martinez denies bust-up with Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega

 

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez insists Hugo Rodallega remains a big part of his plans and has no issues with the striker.

Rodallega, the Latics' top scorer in the last two seasons, has been an unused substitute in the club's last three Barclays Premier League games.

There were suggestions the Colombian, who is out of contract next summer and has been linked with a January move, reacted angrily to the situation during last weekend's win at West Brom.

Martinez claims no such thing occurred and is backing the 26-year-old, who has missed a month of this season after suffering a knee injury in September, to bounce back from a frustrating spell.

Speaking at a press conference to preview this weekend's game against Chelsea, Martinez said: "It has been made very public that he is in the last year of his contract, so you are going to try to find a story - but there is no story.

"Hugo Rodallega is a professional and has been a very important member of this football club. He still is.

"He has had a stop-start season and we were fortunate his injury at Everton was not as bad as we feared.

"Now it is a matter of getting back to his best.

"There is no hidden agenda or anything complicated."

Rodallega has struggled in the games he has played this season, failing to find the net in 10 appearances.

Wigan actually fared well without him last week, winning at The Hawthorns to move off the bottom of the table.

Martinez said: "It is important we share the burden of scoring goals.

"During the period we were finding it difficult to win games there was too much pressure on certain individuals.

"Football is a squad game. We need to take responsibility and the players have accepted that.

"Hugo has been training very well and I just feel he is very close to getting back to form and showing what he can do."

Wigan have shown signs of improvement by collecting seven points in their last four outings but they now face a daunting schedule with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United in successive games.

Defender Antolin Alcaraz remains doubtful for the first of those games against Chelsea at the DW Stadium despite being cleared of serious injury.

The 29-year-old Paraguay international, on his return from suspension, was forced off during the second half at West Brom with a rib injury.

Martinez said: "The first reaction was very positive.

"We had the X-ray back from the hospital and it is not a fractured rib, which was our first concern.

"But it is too early to call if he will be fit for Saturday or not - the swelling is still there."

Alcaraz could be replaced by Emmerson Boyce, who has not featured for six weeks but is now close to match fitness.

Another player coming back into contention is former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.

The 30-year-old's recent loan spell at Doncaster was cut short by a back problem from which he has now recovered.

Martinez said: "He has been training really well since he came back from his loan spell at Doncaster.

"It is a matter of him challenging for a position and he is starting to do that, so it is a positive."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links