Martinez has one hand on new blood

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ROBERTO Martinez admits he is ‘very far down the line’ with the signings he hopes will breathe new life into Wigan Athletic’s survival bid.

Latics remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table with only 16 games remaining after the dismal 3-1 defeat at fellow strugglers QPR.

Despite a magnificent free-kick from Hugo Rodallega midway through the second half, goals from Heidar Helguson, Akos Buzsaky and Tommy Smith ensured Wigan’s 100 per cent losing streak in 2012 continued.

With defensive rock Antolin Alcaraz tearing a groin muscle on the eve of the game, the need for new blood could not be greater ahead of the final push towards hopeful safety.

And Martinez is hoping to have ‘at least’ two additions by the time his side are next in action – at Tottenham tomorrow week.

“I hope so, I really hope so,” he told the Evening Post.

“We are really far down the track with them, very far indeed.

“We’ll need to work really hard to make them happen – but it’s very important we bring in new faces that will help us to refresh the dressing room.”

Confirming Alcaraz will be out for a fortnight at least, he added: “Losing Antolin and David Jones to injury has made our need even greater, and we’ll be looking to push those through as quickly as possible.

“Antolin slipped in training, one of those unfortunate incidents that at the moment are killing us, and it kicked off what has been a very, very bad weekend for us.

“He’s got a tear to his groin, and obviously that is not good news.

“We all know his influence on the team – and his composure, calmness and understanding at the back was a big miss for us.

“It’s not a big tear and we hope that, with treatment, two weeks on the sidelines should be enough for him to recover.”

The Evening Post revealed last week that Wolves winger Adam Hammill is on Wigan’s wanted list, as is long-term target Jean Beausejour of Birmingham and Blackburn midfielder Keith Andrews.

Martinez is also looking to bring in a left-back to cover the loss of Patrick van Aanholt.

“We have identified clear targets, good characters who want to come in and fight for Wigan Athletic, who have real experience in the British game,” he added.

“The transfer window is still open and we need to make sure we bring in the players I feel will help us reach the targets we’ll be setting ourselves for the final 16 games.”

l MOMO Diame and Senegal got their African Nations Cup campaign off to a losing start, going down 2-1 to Zambia on Saturday night.