ROBERTO Martinez has declared this week’s training camp in Sweden – phase one of Wigan Athletic’s pre-season schedule – an overwhelming success.
Latics have spent the week blowing off the cobwebs over in Ostersunds, with hard graft very much the order of the day.
There has been time for ball work too, with Latics running out 1-0 winners over the local club side in a training ground exercise.
Jordi Gomez grabbed the only goal from the penalty spot on the artificial surface of the Jamtkraft Arena, the Spaniard also hitting the woodwork in a stand-out performance, but the result of the 35-minutes-each-way clash was only of minor importance.
Latics will return to the north west tomorrow, where they’ll spend a week at Christopher Park before jetting out to Austria and a third setting for their new-season preparations.
“It’s important we have three different environments for the work we want to do,” Martinez told the Evening Post. “Sweden is always a perfect place to get the phase one work done, and we have all benefited from the work we’ve done out here.
“There will be a short break back home before we fly back out to Austria, which has become very familiar to us and we can feel at home out there as well.
“But I’m hopeful the work we’ll be able to get through will be just as important as the work we’ve done in Sweden. It’s been a fantastic welcome here in Ostersunds, as always, and we thank our hosts very much for that.”
Virtually every member of the party that travelled over to Sweden was involved against Ostersunds, with the likes of Lee Nicholls, Callum McManaman, Roman Golobart, Jordan Mustoe, Danny Redmond and Nouha Dicko seizing their chance to show what they can do.
“First game, first win,” was Dicko’s reaction. “Need to practice more though. Played 35 minutes was like playing 90 minutes!”
Dicko continues to be chased by Blackpool for a second loan spell after impressing last year at Bloomfield Road.
But with Hugo Rodallega having gone to Fulham, a question mark remaining over Mauro Boselli and Victor Moses being linked to Liverpool and Chelsea, the Frenchman could have a big part to play this term.
The striking situation at the DW makes the speculation linking Conor Sammon with a loan move to Derby County seem all the more strange.
And despite some media outlets claiming a deal for the Dubliner has been done, the Evening Post understands such talk is well wide of the mark.
Meanwhile, reported Latics target Adrian Mariappa has been given the green light by Watford to join Premier League new-boys Reading.