Martinez ready for Royals rumble
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is wary of underestimating Reading as he prepares his injury-ravaged side for Saturday's Barclays Premier League match at the DW Stadium.
The Latics could be without seven first-team players, with Ben Watson's broken leg and captain Gary Caldwell's hamstring problem the latest worries for the Spaniard. Midfielder James McArthur, winger Albert Crusat and centre-back Antolin Alcaraz also look set to miss out, although strikers Franco Di Santo and Ryo Miyaichi could recover from their respective calf and ankle problems and will undergo late fitness tests.
Reading finally earned their first Premier League win of the season against Everton last weekend and sit one place below Wigan in 17th. Martinez, keen to end his side's two-game losing streak, knows Wigan need to recapture their form while keeping the Royals' confidence in check.
"It will be a big mistake to expect that you can play against Reading and get a positive result," Martinez said.
"For the way they play and the quality they have, their biggest strength is their confidence and the winning mentality they had last season in the Championship.
"Their work ethic is incredible and although last week was their first win of the campaign, believe me when I say that they've come very close to three points long before that game.
"Their performances have been better than the results they have had. You get to know very quickly in this league that every game will present you with a different challenge and every game is very difficult for its own reasons.
"I'm sure Reading will look at this as a great opportunity to come to Wigan and get a result, but we're playing at home and we had two negative results and we really need to get back to that level we showed in that period with our victory at Spurs and West Ham."
Reading's players were never worried that manager Brian McDermott would be sacked by owner Anton Zingarevich, according to winger Hal Robson-Kanu.
The Russian owner had been reported as saying he was looking at replacing McDermott with PSV coach Dick Advocaat and giving the former Zenit boss hefty financial backing in the January transfer window.
But the 30-year-old Zingarevich said last week McDermott's job is safe and the claims he was looking to sign up to 10 players in the new year were also false.
Wales international Robson-Kanu reckons the owner has been a pleasure to have around the club and never expected that he would dismiss McDermott after the 51-year-old led the Royals back to the Barclays Premier League.
"The owner gives full backing to the manager and that goes without saying," he said.
"As players we always knew that, it wasn't a surprise to us. The support that everyone has shown throughout the club has been consistent and it will continue to be like that.
"He is about the changing rooms after games and sometimes prior to games and obviously he wants us to do well, it is his club and we want to do well for him, it is a nice bond and it is special and long may it continue."
McDermott could welcome Jimmy Kebe back into his squad.
Kebe missed last weekend's win over Everton with a groin problem but has returned to training and is in contention for the match at the DW Stadium.
McDermott has also welcomed goalkeeper Alex McCarthy back to training, along with midfielders Danny Guthrie and Jem Karacan, although Saturday's game will be too early for any of them to return.