ROBERTO Martinez says this week’s training camp in Sweden will prove to be perfect preparation for the new Premier League campaign.
Latics have based themselves in Ostersund, situated in the north of the country, for the second summer in a row.
And the gaffer reckons his squad have got just as much out of their week’s work-out as they did 12 months ago.
“It’s just a perfect place for pre-season – fantastic facilities, near-enough 24 hours daylight and no distractions whatsoever,” Martinez told the Evening Post.
“It’s a very well-known area for us, we know the people here very well and they’ve looked after us again in terms of covering all our needs.
“Although we’re abroad, once again we’ve felt like we’re at home because of the way we’ve been looked after.
“There have been a few minor alterations from last year because the pre-season this a year is a little shorter than usual.
“But overall the concepts have remained the same and we’ve all been getting a lot out of it.”
As a thank-you to their hosts, Wigan will tonight participate in a friendly clash with local side Ostersunds FK – which will be their first 11-a-side run-out of the summer.
Martinez, though, insists he won’t be reading too much into the result.
“We’ll be playing one game tonight, but I don’t even like to call it a game because that’s over-playing it in a way,” he added.
“It’ll probably be 35 minutes each way, and just a way of introducing the lads back into 11-a-side football.
“It’ll give me the chance to try out one or two things in a reasonably competitive environment, and it’ll also give the lads the chance to shake off a few more cobwebs out there on the field.”
When Latics jet back in to the UK tomorrow morning, it’ll be exactly four weeks before the first match of the new Premier League season against Norwich.
However, that still leaves time for another whistle-stop foreign trip for the squad – the whereabouts of which will be revealed shortly.
“We have a couple of options available to us, and hopefully the full details will be coming through very soon,” Martinez added.
“On the next trip we’ll be looking to play two games, and it’ll hopefully be a good next step from where we’re going to be leaving off in Sweden.”
l Antolin Alcaraz’s Paraguay have booked their place in the last eight of the Copa America via a 3-3 draw with Venezuela.
The Wigan centre-back scored the opening goal for his side, who led 3-1 going into the final minute before being pegged back and who will now face Brazil.
l LATICS are preparing for Aston Villa to make their move from Charles N’Zogbia after Alex McLeish sanctioned the £20million sale of Stewart Downing to Liverpool.