ROBERTO Martinez admits Ronnie Stam gave him a timely reminder of his ability with a sparkling cameo against West Brom.
The Dutchman came on for the last third of Wigan’s 2-1 defeat to the Baggies, and saw as much ball as anyone as Latics desperately tried for an equaliser.
It’s been a frustrating campaign for Stam, with Emmerson Boyce having nailed-down the right wing-back role with a series of consistent performances.
Boyce showed his versatility by switching to centre-back in the second-half reshuffle, and the Wigan boss admits Stam is well and truly in his thoughts ahead of the trip to Liverpool.
“Ronnie has been working very hard behind the scenes, and has had some good performances in the Capital One Cup,” Martinez acknowledged.
“It’s important that whenever you are called on to play for the team, you are ready - and I think Ronnie showed that against West Brom.
“We all know the quality Ronnie brings to the team, and he brought us something a little bit different down that right-hand side.
“It’s a nice sign when someone who hasn’t played too much in the league shows he can come straight in and do a job for the team.”
Latics will be looking to get back on track at Anfield after their two-game win streak came to an end last weekend.
Last season’s clash at Anfield proved to be a watershed encounter - with Latics going on to win seven of their final nine matches after seeing off the Reds 2-1.
“There was nothing lucky about that run, and it all started with the Liverpool game - which was a key moment in our season,” Martinez added.
“We started to develop a really exciting and yet a real competitive way of playing, but sometimes that isn’t always enough.
“You also need belief, the feeling you can beat anyone. And I feel we got that after the result at Anfield.
“We had to adapt to many things that happened during the game, but when you go there and come away with a deserved win, it took our mental approach to a different level.
“Our mentality changed and, from that point on, allowed to hold our form for the rest of the season.”