Wigan keep faith in Stojkovic
Wednesday 27 January 2010
Wigan Athletic's manager Roberto Martinez has backed on-loan goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic to survive what could be a tough Premier League baptism at Blackburn tonight.
The Serbia international made his Latics debut in the 2-2 FA Cup fourth-round draw with League Two side Notts County on Saturday.
However, with regular first-choice Chris Kirkland sidelined for a fortnight with a collarbone injury, Stojkovic - on loan from Sporting Lisbon - is in line to deputise.
If he does, Rovers are certain to try to make life difficult for him but Martinez is confident the player can cope.
"It is important Vladimir played in the FA Cup to get a taste of the English game," he said. "He has been with us for over two weeks now so he knows the players and that allows him to fight for his position with a bit of an insight into the British game.
"You don't want to lose players like Chris but it is important we now have Vladimir and Mike Pollitt giving us competition in that position.
"He is an international goalkeeper and, when you are looking to go to a World Cup, you have that extra bit of experience and knowhow on how to perform in any game you play.
"I don't know if they will look to target him but he is an experienced boy, he has played in four leagues around Europe and to play for Serbia you need to be of a certain assurance. If he plays, I have no doubts he will be ready and be a big asset for us."
Meanwhile, Wigan have played down comments from Spanish club Villarreal that striker Marco Ruben was to sign for them imminently.
The La Liga side put out a statement yesterday claiming a deal was almost done and the Argentinian gave a farewell interview to the club's website. But it seems a deal is far from complete and contrary to claims by Villarreal, the player has not travelled to this country for a medical.
Villarreal's press officer, Hernan Sanz, said: "Ruben is already in England. The clubs have reached an agreement and all that is needed is for the player to put pen to paper."
Wigan view the negotiations differently and Martinez moved to quell reports of a pending £7million transfer. "It is something that is not finalised or concluded yet so we cannot speak about it," he said.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing from Manchester United
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain