Martinez admits keeper dilemma

Latics boss proud of competition for No.1 jersey

Al Habsi: Competing with Kirkland

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Wigan manager Roberto Martinez admits he is finding it difficult to pick his first-choice goalkeeper.

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The Latics travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham on Saturday and speculation has been rife as to who Martinez will choose as his shot-stopper.

Chris Kirkland and Ali Al Habsi have both played in goal for the Lancashire side recently, while veteran Mike Pollitt will also compete for the position when he returns from injury.

Kirkland, who was displaced by Al Habsi earlier in the season, impressed during the 1-1 weekend draw against Bolton when his rival was unable to play against his parent club due to the terms of his loan agreement.

However, Al Habsi returned on Tuesday night as the Latics secured a place in the last eight of the Carling Cup with a hard-fought 2-0 victory against Championship high-flyers Swansea at the DW stadium.

It remains to be seen if Al Habsi's return means he is now first choice, but Martinez says he is treating both as equals.


When Martinez was asked which goalkeeper was in line to play at Craven Cottage this weekend, the Wigan boss told Sky Sports News HD: "The situation hasn't changed at all. I know there has been plenty of talk in the media.

"We are extremely proud at the club to have three goalkeepers challenging for the No.1 jersey and that brings a great competition.

"We're working extremely hard to build a competitive squad and the situation is no different with the 'keepers.

"Al Habsi has been playing very well, while Kirkland has been No.1 for many years and he has the respect from everyone which he has rightfully earned and we've also got Mike Pollitt.

"Kirkland played really well against Bolton at the weekend and showed that he is ready, while Ali has been playing extremely well at the moment and has shown he is patient.

"It is the sign of a very good squad when you have players such as Ali, Chris and Mike competing for the one position."