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With the likes of striker Franco Di Santo reportedly attracting interest from elsewhere, the Latics' manager is wary of transfer speculation distracting key members of his squad

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is hoping transfer speculation does not distract his players during the January window.

The Latics currently sit one point from safety after a winless run of six games – which has included losing their last three on the trot – with matches against Manchester United, Fulham, Sunderland and Stoke City scheduled for next month.

And Martinez sees little positives from the mid-season window, stating that uncertainty over a player’s future can lead to below-par performances.

"I don't agree with the window being open whilst you are playing official games," he told reporters. "Sometimes we forget about the human part of the footballer.

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"Everybody wants to hear what the next step in their career is. But that can become very disrespectful to the team and the fans when you are playing games.

"Victor Moses played against Chelsea in the opening game and their fans were singing 'we'll see you next week'. That is how incredible this situation is.

"Players should be allowed to think about their careers and their next move at the right time.

"In our case, these next five or six matches could be the most important five or six games in the club's history."

Next up for Wigan is a trip to an Aston Villa side who are heading into the fixture off the back of an 8-0 defeat to Chelsea and 4-0 loss to Tottenham.

Despite these heavy losses, Martinez – who was approached for the Villa Park hotseat in 2011 - has highlighted Villa's recent 3-1 victory over Liverpool as reason to for caution.

"It is a transitional period for Aston Villa," Martinez said. "But they have a lot of heart and are capable of competing against anyone on their day as they showed by winning at Liverpool.

"As I know from my time here, when you are building new partnerships and have a lot of young players you are going to get inconsistency."

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