Wigan manager Roberto Martinez eyes victory over ‘strongest’ Liverpool side in recent years

The former Swansea boss believes his team go in to the match galvanised by recent results, and has hailed the form of Jordi Gomez ahead of the clash with the Reds
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is going all-out for victory against Liverpool, claiming that nothing but three points will suffice on Wednesday night.

The Latics currently sit third from bottom in the Premier League, but closed the gap on Wolves to just a point after securing a last-minute draw against Chelsea on Saturday evening.

But boss Martinez, who felt his side deserved victory against the Blues at the weekend, believes nothing but a win against Kenny Dalglish’s side will help them to climb further up the table.

"We don't have a choice," the Spaniard told the club’s official website.

"In any other season, as a mid-table team, you have that choice. But where we are, we have a very desperate need of points. At the start of the season we were punished for dropping points when we shouldn't and now every game is an opportunity to get those points back.

"We approach the Liverpool game, it makes it harder as they have a real quality on the counter-attack and we can't leave ourselves exposed, but the truth is, we are playing at home, we are galvanised by the environment the fans created on Saturday and, on our day, we can beat anyone and that's the mentality we take to Liverpool."

Jordi Gomez was the hero at the DW Stadium against Chelsea, driving home his fourth of the season from point-blank range following a howler from Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Martinez, who coached Gomez at Swansea, has hailed the 26-year-old’s recent form, and has likened him to fellow Premier League Spanish stars David Silva and Juan Mata.

"Jordi has been working hard in training and has had to endure adversity more than any other player," Martinez said.

"Technically he is very gifted, in the mould of Juan Mata or David Silva, and it took our fans a bit of time to understand his game, but now I think you can see that understanding.

"The crowd made him feel well, and when you feel loved you can allow your football to talk and that's what he is doing. It makes a big difference as a foreign player when you come in and you have that bond with the crowd, and that's what Jordi has."

Wigan have a strong record against Liverpool, having avoided defeat in their last four meetings with the Merseysiders on home soil.

Having seen Dalglish's men win comfortably at Aston Villa at the weekend, Martinez feels this is the strongest Reds side in recent seasons, and is well aware of the tough task ahead of them on Wednesday night.

"[They are] very impressive," the 38-year-old added.

"I got the opportunity to see them live against Aston Villa and it gives you the impression they have a lot of very good players, they know what it means to play for Liverpool and have been there a long time.

"Others are having a honeymoon period, they have very good pace with [Craig] Bellamy and [Stewart] Downing, and [Luis] Suarez who is in the moment of his career.

"They have quality all over and this is probably the strongest Liverpool we'll have faced in the last three or four years."