Scharner ready for down time

Paul Scharner (right) and Liverpool's Luis Saurez battle for the ball
Paul Scharner (right) and Liverpool's Luis Saurez battle for the ball
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PAUL Scharner says now is the time to recharge the batteries ahead of a “hectic” business end to the season.

Latics signed off for the international break with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle that cut the gap between themselves and safety to three points - with a game in hand.

Most of the squad have now gone away with their countries for crucial World Cup qualifying matches.

Scharner, 33, is retired from international football, and will spend the next week recharging his batteries after an eventful seven weeks back at Wigan.

And he believes the chance to sit back and take stock will stand Latics in good stead for the relegation run-in and a possible FA Cup final appearance.

“We have a two-week break now and then from then on it’s going to be hectic until the end of the season,” Scharner told the Evening Post.

“It’s going to be a busy run-in for us with us still being involved in the FA Cup, but personally I prefer it when it like that.

“I like busy times, I like to play football every third day, and so I am looking forward to the challenge.

“We have two targets still - to stay in the Premier League and to win the FA Cup - and we are in a decent position to do that.

“We have done our job up to the international break, and hopefully we will come back refreshed and ready to keep doing it until May.”

Latics have won four of their last five matches since returning from a training camp in Tenerife, and boss Roberto Martinez says they are well equipped to deal with fighting on two fronts.

“We have an exciting journey now between now and our last Premier League game on May 19,” he said.

“We need to make sure that every game is linked-up to each other, whether it’s in the league of the FA Cup.

“We have some incredible opportunities in the league to increase our points tally, while we have already made history in the FA Cup and we need to carry on doing that.

“The league and the cup goes hand in hand, and the success in one competition should help us to achieve our goals in the other.”