Zog strike suggestion dismissed

Stoke City v Wigan Athletic: Charles N'Zogbia celebrates
Stoke City v Wigan Athletic: Charles N'Zogbia celebrates

SUGGESTIONS that Latics ace Charles N’Zogbia is preparing to go on strike in an attempt to try and force through a transfer to Aston Villa have been slammed as ‘rubbish’.

The Latics squad jet off for a six-day training and two-match stint in Austria today.

However, yesterday national media reports stated that French international star N’Zogbia was understood to be frustrated at a decision by Latics to turn down a £9m offer from Villa for his services.

Latics dismissed that claim outright last night when the Evening Post put it to them and, unless something drastic occurred overnight, N’Zogbia is scheduled to board the plane to Austria today.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is hoping his squad will get as much out of the next six days as they did from the recent trip to Sweden.

With two games to contest in Austria, a hectic schedule is anticipated, but one which is crucial as the days count down until the new Premier League season kicks-off on August 13.

Martinez said: “Overall the pre-season is developing quite smoothly.

“But now we’re going to Austria for a trip where we’re going to have two games and we’re going to have another intense period before we come up against Preston North End [a week on Sunday].

“The altitude in Austria, the scenery, the mountains, the fresh air, it’s a perfect environment just to work on the physical side of our game.

“You need to play games before the season too though, and competition where you can really play football in a different type of culture.

“A different kind of football that brings different kinds of problems could really give us an extra dimension and it’s important that we can achieve that in Austria.

“The opposition is going to be very different, it’s going to be very physical, but we need to start slowly getting into the levels that we need in the Premier League.

“At the moment we’re reaching the targets that we set out before the pre-season started.

“Working in three different environments really does help because there’s so much work to get through.

“Trips help to get the players close to each other.

“Everything is focused on reaching the optimum levels for the Villareal game [August 7], and at the moment we are well on course to do that.”