Uwe will look to make a case for the defence

Missing men Ivan Ramis and Gary Caldwell have both been long-term casualties
Missing men Ivan Ramis and Gary Caldwell have both been long-term casualties

LATICS boss Uwe Rosler will target defensive reinforcements after completing the signing of striker Nicky Maynard.

Rosler had been expecting a deal for Maynard to be completed yesterday, but negotiations and the player’s medical took longer than anticipated.

Maynard should still put pen to paper on a loan deal until the end of the season, which will allow Rosler to switch his sights to the other end of the field.

The German was forced to field both Chris McCann and Ben Watson in a makeshift backline at MK Dons on Tuesday night, and is desperate to bring in much-needed reinforcements.

“The headache I have is in defence, because we have got too many players out of action,” Rosler recognised.

“It was an experimental selection on Tuesday night, but it had to be like that.

“We had three established centre-backs injured, and two younger defenders cup-tied.

“Gary (Caldwell) has been out long term, Ivan (Ramis) has come back but got re-injured, Thomas (Rogne)is injured, and it is a credit to the squad that we are continuing to pick up results.”

Rosler has already brought in Everton youngster Tyias Browning on loan this month to bolster the back four.

And the exit of Grant Holt to Aston Villa will give him scope to bring in further short-term fixes.

“There will be more players coming in during January, but they will be loanees,” he revealed.

“I have made some room on the wage bill, and you will maybe see two more players leaving on loan to make some more room.

“I would expect two more players to come in, both of them on loan. I cannot buy anyone – the money has been spent.

“What I can do is create some room on the wage bill so I can bring in players this way – and that is what I have done.”

Latics have done well out of the loan market this term, with Nick Powell proving a revelation after joining from Manchester United last summer.

Powell took his tally to the season to 10 with a brace in midweek that helped keep the holders in the FA Cup.

And Rosler remains hopeful his United counterpart David Moyes will allow Powell to remain at the DW for the rest of the season.

“It’s an arrangement that is working well for all parties,” Rosler added.

“Nick is 19 years old and is getting a lot of football under his belt in the Championship, in a team that will fight for the play-offs.

“He needs that pressure, where you go into every single game needing to win.

“Nick is a real footballer – and that excites me about him. He can play anywhere in the team and do a good job.

“At Manchester United he played as a midfield player, on Tuesday night he played there and also off the front man.

“In other games I have played him in wide areas, and he can also play No.9 very well.

“He has an incredible physique, strength, power, technique, and every time he plays for me he gives 100 per cent.

“I’m hoping at the end of the season all three parties will have benefited.

“We will have another talk in the last week of January, but I think everyone is happy with the way things are going. I hope it continues.”

l Tickets for Wigan’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Crystal Palace at the DW on Saturday week went on sale yesterday. Prices are again competitively priced at £10 adults, £7 OAPs and £5 U16s.