Rob praises midfield duo

Roberto Martinez has heaped praise on the partnership of midfield duo Mohammed Diame and Hendry Thomas.

The pair have gelled well this season and the Latics boss believes that a strong central partnership is key to any successful midfield.

He said: "It is important when you are on the pitch that you have an understanding and you create certain partnerships.

"For the way we play, with certain players it happened straight away and with other players it takes a bit longer."

Diame and Thomas have been in the heart of midfield in almost every game this season and have been influential in stopping the opposition.

And Martinez believes the fact they both speak Spanish helps their partnership.

He said: "The language helps as they can communicate and help each other to perform.

"I would say every single player has had that feeling, everyone has adapted really well and quickly."

When Martinez first arrived at the DW Stadium, he claimed most of his players would need time to gel – but that hasn't be the case for Thomas and Diame.

He said: "Obviously some players perform straight away on top of their game, and that's because of little details like finding a partnership or reaching the point where they are enjoying their football.

"Hendry and Momo have actually done that at the start of this campaign.

"When you perform well you enjoy your football and when you enjoy your football, you tend to adapt quickly."

The midfield position is one area where Martinez has depth at his disposal.

Although Diame, Thomas and Paul Scharner are first-choice starters, Martinez still has Jason Koumas, Won Hee Cho, Scott Sinclair and Jordi Gomez waiting impatiently on the sidelines.

Martinez added: "We have got a very healthy competition in the squad.

"As well as finding the right partnerships and the players showing they can play at the top level, having that competition in the camp is going to help to push every player to perform to the maximum.

"We have got players who are not in the side at the moment but they have got huge quality and offer a lot."

Latics travel on Sunday to face Harry Redknapp's high-flying Spurs side.

And with no international breaks until after Christmas, it is the beginning of an important set of fixtures for Latics.

Martinez said: "We are getting to a stage where we are showing what we can do as a team and individually.

"We consider that we have got a very good, healthy competition and everyday is making a difference in terms of find those partnerships that work on the pitch and the players enjoying their football on a regular basis."