Wigan are growing in adversity claims Roberto Martinez

Latics missing key personnel ahead of QPR match

Roberto Martinez believes Wigan will be stronger for the injury and suspension problems that are threatening to derail their Barclays Premier League campaign.

The Latics go into tomorrow's clash with basement side QPR at the DW Stadium looking to avoid a third straight defeat and without eight senior players.

Defender Antolin Alcaraz and playmaker Shaun Maloney (both groin) are close to fitness but unlikely to feature tomorrow while midfielder Ben Watson (broken leg), wingers Albert Crusat (knee) and Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) and defender Ivan Ramis (hamstring) are also out.

To cap Martinez's selection problems, centre-backs Gary Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa are both suspended, with Wigan failing in an appeal against the latter's red card in Monday's 3-0 defeat by Newcastle.

The Wigan boss said: "We've got four centre-halfs missing and that doesn't happen a lot but I'm really pleased in the manner the other players have been working, and they've been waiting for their chance.

"That's what we want to create at the football club, a structure where you've got players ready to come in and to perform in the manner we want to play.

"Adrian Lopez came in against Reading and he performed against Manchester City and Newcastle at a very high level. Emmerson Boyce has been outstanding in that new role.

"I never look at the players that aren't there, it's the opposite. And once we get through this period we're going to be a stronger squad and a squad ready to finish the season really strong."

Martinez would certainly have wished for more options for such an important game as tomorrow's. Rangers remain bottom of the table, eight points behind Wigan in 16th, but have drawn both of their games under new manager Harry Redknapp.

The Latics are hoping to avoid another relegation battle, and Martinez is happy for the magnitude of the game to be talked up.

He said: "We want to be aware of the levels of expectation. The squad has been stretched to the maximum in the last three games with the players that we've had missing and I felt we reacted in a great manner and performed really well.

"In the last two games we feel frustrated that we couldn't get positive results to reflect some of the good things that we've done.

"You don't want to look away from the reality of the next game, which is a very important one from our point of view. We've had two defeats and we want to change that, and we have to change that.

"QPR are starting to bring a little bit of consistency in their play since Harry Redknapp arrived.

"You can see in their last two games, they got two positive results, they're playing with a real togetherness and they'll be looking at every game that they've got in front of them from now on as must-win games to get out of the position they're in."

Redknapp replaced Mark Hughes last month following the Welshman's sacking. The 65-year-old took over Tottenham when they were in a similar position four years ago, and Martinez expects him to turn around Rangers' fortunes.

"He brings real experience," said the Spaniard. "In football there is nothing better than knowing what to expect when you go into a challenge, that's a real advantage.

"Harry Redknapp has been in that situation before, he's been in a very successful team that had great times in the Champions League, and that brings a real feeling of confidence.

"He's going to get the best out of every single player. They've got very talented footballers and the moment they get a positive result they'll get a real competitive edge about them."

Martinez has called for the same support from the fans they received against Reading two weeks ago, when a Jordi Gomez hat-trick earned the Latics a last-gasp victory.

He added: "From our point of view, it's a home match and I did feel against Reading, in the second half, we started something special with the fans, I thought they were magnificent.

"They made us feel really comfortable and they allowed us to be ourselves. For us that's the challenge, to play in that manner at home and QPR is the next opportunity."

PA

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

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?