Rodallega set to face Liverpool

HUGO Rodallega is winning his battle to be fit for Saturday’s crucial clash at Liverpool.

The Colombian missed last weekend’s draw against West Brom with a niggling knee problem.

Rodallega – Wigan’s all-time leading Premier League marksman – could have been the difference between the side being held by the Baggies and getting the vital victory that would have lifted them out of the bottom three.

And boss Roberto Martinez will give him every chance of proving his fitness for the trip to Anfield.

“Hugo is working hard in his rehab and desperately trying to make sure he is okay for Saturday,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“It will be a very close call either way, but what I can say is that Hugo is desperate to get back to full fitness to get out there and help the team.

“We’ll give him all the help we can, and hopefully he’ll be fit to play. The knee has settled down well and he is progressing nicely.

“We just need to carry on with his treatment and see how quickly he can rejoin the group.

“It’s probably going to be a close call for Liverpool, but we all have our fingers crossed.”

Rodallega had to watch on from the stands as Latics converted only one of 20 chances they created against West Brom.

Emmerson Boyce, James McCarthy and Albert Crusat all hit the woodwork, while goalkeeper Ben Foster made a string of fine saves to keep the home side at bay.

The Wigan boss, though, believes the goals will come if his side continue to create opportunities in such quantity. “The most difficult part of the game is to create chances, and we couldn’t really have done any more on that front,” he added.

“What we were lacking was that little bit of luck, that moment of good form and that confidence that comes from it.

“The goals will come – because they have to come. We deserved the goals and we deserved the three points.

“Where you are in the table can sometimes affect your performance, but that wasn’t the case against West Brom.

“We were really fluent, we opened them up time after time and we were so unfortunate not to get more than one goal.

“If you are in a mid-table position, where maybe the points are not so important, you would have been looking at perhaps a 5-1 or 6-1 scoreline.

“We were heavily punished with their equaliser, but all we can do now is concentrate on the next game.”

Martinez also warned against the danger of taking lightly a Liverpool side that have under-performed in the league this term but who remain on course for a cup double.

“Liverpool looked very sharp against Everton and Stoke, and they are starting to build a bit of momentum,” the Spaniard recognised.

“Teams going to Anfield have to be at their best if they want to compete, because they have some fantastic individual players. But we showed in the draw at the DW this season we are capable of doing that.

“Rather than focus on stopping their players, we have to concentrate on maintaining our own performance levels.

“And if we can do that, I’m sure we can get the rewards we deserve.”