Watson hot to trot

Ben Watson in action against Everton
Ben Watson in action against Everton
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LATICS’ all-action midfielder Ben Watson is gunning for neighbours Bolton Wanderers this weekend.

September proved to be a miserable month for Latics, bringing three Premier League defeats and a shock Carling Cup exit at Crystal Palace.

October began little better 10 days ago as Roberto Martinez’s charges slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa, but Watson clearly sees this Saturday’s home derby clash against the Trotters – who are also struggling at present – as potentially a fortune-changing fixture.

He told the Evening Post: “I thought we controlled the Villa game at times, but they scored more goals than we did at the end of the day.

“But we’ve got to move on now and try to take the positives into the Bolton game this weekend.

“Maybe the international break gives us a bit of time to reflect on the last few weeks, and recharge our batteries for the next block of fixtures.

“It’s a massive, massive game and we need to get a win under our belts.

“That’s five defeats on the spin now and we need to try to sort that out.”

Meanwhile, Latics goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi has been handed the captain’s armband for Oman against Australia in a bid to add some heart to the visitors’ faltering World Cup campaign.

Oman coach Paul Le Guen has told Al Habsi he would lead his nation out in today’s crucial World Cup qualifier against the Socceroos at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

Oman are desperate for points after a lacklustre start to their campaign, and it is hoped Al Habsi’s leadership will boost the side’s appetite for battle.

In another Latics goalkeeping development, Chris Kirkland was yesterday being linked with a potential loan switch to Championship outfit Doncaster Rovers.