City slick as ever, says Martinez

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ROBERTO Martinez has laughed off suggestions that Manchester City’s form is crumbling after two defeats within the last week.

The cashed-up outfit arrive at the DW Stadium on Monday aiming to stretch their lead at the Premier League after a turbulent few days.

Roberto Mancini saw his side dumped out of the FA Cup by rivals Manchester United six days ago and then lost 1-0 to Liverpool mid-week in the first-leg of their Carling Cup semi-final.

Their dip in form has been attributed, in part, to the loss of the Toure brothers for the Africa Nations Cup.

And with only four wins in eight during all competitions, some have suggested Wigan are facing the title challengers at a good time.

But Martinez, who travelled to the Etihad to watch their 3-2 loss to United, said: “It would be a big mistake to under-estimate them.

“To come back from 3-0 down and beat Manchester United 2-0 in the second-half, with 10 men – that tells you more than the scoreline sometimes.

“They probably finished that game mentally stronger than they started it.

They are very strong in their squad. They have fresh players and that can give you and extra edge and makes them dangerous.”

David Silva is tipped to return after a two-week injury lay-off.

Martinez is a huge admirer of the work Mancini has done since taking charge of City – and says their success can not just be put down to splashing the cash.

“What Roberto Mancini and Manchester City have done have put together a team of the best individuals in world football,” he said. “But there are exceptional harmonies – they are not a group of individuals, and that is one of the hardest things to achieve in football.

“They have a great winning mentality. City deserve the label of being title favourites because they started with unbelievable momentum, playing breathtaking football. You look at what they have done and it’s phenomenal.”

Martinez, though, will put the emphasis of his side’s preparations on their own performance. “When you play against the top sides you need to concentrate on yourselves,” he said.

“We need to go into the game with real focus. We need the points and we need to go into the game with real belief, and replicate the level of performance that we showed (in the draws) against Liverpool and Chelsea at home last month.

“You can look at the opposition too much and you can weaken yourselves.”

YOUNGSTER Daniel Redmond has joined Scottish side Hamilton on loan until the end of the season.