MARTINEZ IN BLUES LESSON
LONDON - Premier League managerial rookie Roberto Martinez is hoping his Wigan Athletic side have learnt two harsh lessons handed out by two of the "big four" as he prepares his side for the visit of leaders Chelsea tomorrow.
Spaniard Martinez watched his side leak five goals after half time against champions Manchester United last month and were buried 4-0 at Arsenal last weekend.
Apart from those two setbacks, and a League Cup humiliation by Championship side Blackpool, Wigan have performed reasonably well with wins over West Ham United and Aston Villa, a stoppage-time defeat by Everton and a disappointing 1-0 home loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Chelsea are flying under Carlo Ancelotti, winning six out of six to top the table, and Martinez knows that his mantra of silky passing football might need a tweak against the big boys.
Martinez, tipped by Wigan owner Dave Whelan to become a great manager, was unhappy with his side's display against Arsenal.
"We need to go to places like that and be ourselves," Martinez told Wigan's website. "We didn't do that.
"Chelsea play in a completely different way to Arsenal, tactically we'll have to readjust a little bit. We're playing at home so we'll have to take control of the game a bit more."
Since Wigan arrived in the top flight they have managed just one point in eight meetings with Chelsea, who should have striker Didier Drogba available after he missed their midweek League Cup defeat of Queen's Park Rangers with a sore calf.
Life could not be better for Ancelotti, who also watched England midfielder Joe Cole make his long-awaited return to action against QPR after a lengthy spell out with a knee injury.
Manchester United, three points behind Chelsea in second spot, travel to Stoke City while third-placed Liverpool host Hull City. - Reuters