Martinez reassures Kirkland
Roberto Martinez is adamant keeper Chris Kirkland still has an important role to play for Wigan.
Last Updated: 26/10/10 8:37am
Roberto Martinez is adamant goalkeeper Chris Kirkland still has an important role to play for Wigan Athletic.
Kirkland has lost his place as the Latics' No.1 keeper this season and has played just once since the 6-0 defeat by Chelsea in August.
That appearance came on Saturday in the 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers when Ali Al-Habsi was ineligible to face his parent club.
Kirkland will be hoping to retain his place for Tuesday's Carling Cup tie against Swansea City and Martinez insists there are no issues regarding the 29-year-old's future at the DW Stadium.
Martinez said: "I have got a great relationship with Chris and we have spoken about his role at the football club.
"I told him he has been a No.1 for many seasons and has earned the respect of the fans and everyone.
"Some of the things that have been in the press I think have been taken out of context.
"We need Chris Kirkland at this football club, there is no other issue at all.
"If he was to be happy and not playing, there would be something really wrong.
"He is a great competitor, has great standards and his role at the football club is vital - playing or not playing."