Football - Martinez wants players to follow fans' lead

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez expects his players to take inspiration from the fans as they fight to beat relegation once again.

PA Sport

Latics' crowds may be among the lowest in the Barclays Premier League but Martinez has regularly hailed their enthusiasm.

This weekend supporters are planning to congregate en masse in the DW Stadium car park to cheer the team as they arrive for their game against Liverpool.

They tried something similar before a game against West Brom last March as Wigan lay bottom of the table.

Wigan played out a 1-1 draw with the Baggies that day but what followed was a remarkable upturn in form which carried them to safety.

Martinez's men won seven of their last nine games - a run which started with victory over Liverpool and included further wins against Manchester United and Arsenal - to beat the drop.

Martinez is planning to arrive at the ground half an hour earlier to make sure his players fully appreciate the fans' efforts this time.

The Spaniard said: "This initiative was a turning point last season and I do hope this can change around the results we have had at home so far.

"It is one of the many examples we have got of how much the fans get involved and how important they are in our preparations and what we do on the pitch.

"The players were shocked to see a lot of fans waiting in the car park and after that they came in with a completely different mental approach. They were very happy and they had that positive belief, knowing how important the game was going to be and the rest the season."

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