Its not known whether Roberto Martinez was a boy scout in his youth, however the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared”, seems to be one which the erudite and studious Spaniard subscribes to following today’s workout.
In today’s friendly at local neighbours Preston, Martinez made five changes from the team which started their last competitive match, Alcaraz and Rodallega were rested where as Al Habsi and Watson were included as substitutes. The other notable absentee of course being the now departed Charles N’Zogbia.
One of the special memories amongst Wigan fans is Jason Roberts’ goal at Deepdale after thirty five seconds on his debut in 2004. Today’s first goal whilst by no means as pivotal was as quick and certainly one to remember for its build up. A wonderful jinking run by Victor Moses bamboozled the Preston defence and the cross wasn’t cleared and in the morass of bodies James McCarthy pounced to poke the ball home.
Ten minutes later it was two nil, this time Moses finished off firing a deflected shot past debutant Ian Turner in the North End goal. Wigan were two nil up, passing the ball with aplomb and veteran Wigan keeper Mike Pollitt had up to this point hardly touched the ball.
Preston struggled manfully and ex Latics loanee Neil Mellor’s shot did force Pollitt into a save but with man of the match Moses and Diame driving Wigan forward it seemed only a matter of time before Wigan scored again.
This they did although unfortunately it was an own goal by Boyce credited to Lingazi, the latter firing a shot towards the left hand side
of the goal, Pollitt had seemingly got it covered when the ball hit Boyce and was deflected towards the right hand side of the goal leaving Pollitt stranded.
Wigan simply upped the tempo and with a smooth passing game across all the midfield against a spirited if somewhat
limited opposition, a Gomez corner was met by a powerful header from Boyce who this time scored at the right hand.
Wigan continued to dominate the match with the occasional Preston forays into the Wigan half well marshalled by the back four of Boyce, Gohuri, Caldwell and Figueroa.
At the other end, Gomez and Sammon should have done better from well crafted chances but blazed over.
Martinez took advantage of the positive first half display to replace five players at half time, replacing Gohuri, Thomas, Diame, McCarthy
and Sammon replaced by Golobart, Watson, McArthur, Jones and Di Santo respectively.
Jones wasn’t a familiar name to most of the Wigan fans although it seemed most realised he was a trialist as an excellent performance from the young man resulted in several chants of, “Bobby , Bobby sign him up.” Jones is a free agent since leaving Wolves and on his all action passing and creative performance today, Wigan could do worse than offer him a contract.
The second half surprisingly was scoreless with the best chances falling to Gomez who hit the bar and Moses whose goal bound shot was
blocked by the head of Di Santo.
Wigan opted to introduce other substitutes namely Redmond, Lopez and an unnamed trialist and as a result the game was ended as a contest with Preston also taking the opportunity of rotating their squad ahead of their League oen game against Colchester next Saturday.
All in all it was a good workout, with Moses being the standout player and the front runner to replace N’Zogbia in the starting line
up come Saturday week.
McCarthy, Caldwell, Thomas, Moses, Gomez, Boyce, Sammon, Diame, Figueroa. Subs:
Di Santo, Watson, Redmond, Jones, McArthur, Golabart, Boothman, Lopez, Al Habsi,
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