Football - Martinez praises fringe players

Wigan's fringe players have played themselves into contention for the rest of the season after turning in several class acts in their 4-1 FA Cup win at npower Championship side Huddersfield.

PA Sport

Manager Roberto Martinez made six changes for Sunday's fifth-round tie, but Wigan were still far too strong for a home side whose players were hoping to impress their new boss Mark Robins in his first game in charge.

Latics winger Callum McManaman, 21, a distant cousin of former Liverpool wide man Steve McManaman, striker Arouna Kone and big Spanish defender Roman Golobart were among those who returned to the side and were all outstanding for the Barclays Premier League strugglers.

When questioned about his changes Martinez, whose side reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 1987 and only the second time in the club's history, said: "If that's a weak squad I should play it every week in the league.

"This was not a weakened side. It was a younger side with less experience, but it was a side desperate to help the group and play more regularly.

"If we were top four in the league I'd say making changes is the wrong thing to do, but when you're in the position we're in with the points tally we've got, nobody's got a place guaranteed.

"These games are fantastic for anyone at the club to show what they can do and put in a really strong claim to be selected in the next game.

"That's the competition I want. When you make six changes and you see them playing with that cohesion and that understanding, it's time to consider them strongly to play in the next game."

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