Spaniard sees next seven games as crucial to league survival
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has revealed strikers Victor Moses and Mauro Boselli could face several weeks on the sidelines after both had to withdraw from the 2-0 loss to Arsenal in Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final.
Moses fell heavily on his arm after a clean tackle from Arsenal defender Johan Djourou 10 minutes before half-time, with Boselli being replaced in the final stages of the game.
Youngster Moses had to be taken from the field on a stretcher, but only as a precautionary measure as first signs pointed towards an injured wrist, but Martinez has revealed that, after a closer look, a dislocated shoulder appears to be the problem.
“We are assessing [Moses] as we speak,” Martinez told reporters. “We fear that it is a dislocated shoulder and if that's the case it’s going to be between four and six weeks and that’s a real blow.
Boselli’s injury does not look much better either, as Martinez elaborated.
He continued: “[It’s] too early to tell [about Boselli]. We'll have a scan tomorrow, but we fear could be lateral ligament.
“I said all along that as a squad we are strong enough to compete in two competitions but at this stage of the campaign we are not.
"A suspension [and] four injuries and we couldn't afford any more injuries tonight but unfortunately we picked up Moses and Mauro Boselli at the end and that's a real worry for us. Today was a game too many.
“I don't want to be a team we [who] feel sorry about ourselves, we need to regroup [and] act as men. We are short on numbers but we are not short on character.
"If we carry on working with the levels we've that been showing luck changes very quickly.”
Despite going down 2-0 Wigan appeared comfortable in the early stages, enjoying decent amounts of possession and really frustrating Arsenal.
But an Arsenal goal eventually came, and although it was an own goal from captain Antolin Alcaraz, it was only a matter of time.
“The first goal was the real difference,” Martinez said. “We came here with a real desire and real excitement to try and get through, we knew that if Arsenal scored the first goal it would make it very, very difficult.
"Up to that point we looked comfortable, we worked really hard. I could sense Arsenal were starting to get frustrated and we looked a real threat on the counter.
“[Once they scored] from then on the game is completely different. Then you're playing into Arsenal's hands. “
It was not all doom and gloom for Wigan though, as Martinez picked out the late cameo from young forward Callum McManaman as a plus for his side.
He said: “A real positive is Callum McManaman, he came [on] really late but it’s a sign of what I'm trying to do in the structure of the football club, which is paying attention to the development of players between the ages of 18 and 22.
"That’s going to be the real need for the future of Wigan. Callum came on, he showed no fear, he got straight into the game and it was a real positive.”
Wigan lie in the relegation spots in Premier League, and Martinez is now fully focused on avoiding the drop with ties against Aston Villa, Everton and Arsenal to come, along with an away tie against fellow relegation battlers Wolves.
He concluded: “I target the next seven games as our vital run to get away from that relegation scrap because it's a position you don't enjoy.”