October 28, 2010 | In: Articles

Martinez – No Kirkland exit

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is confident Chris Kirkland will be going nowhere in the January transfer window.

After conceding 10 goals in the Latics’ opening two Premier League games and struggling with injury, 29-year-old Kirkland has found himself on the bench for much of this season.

On-loan Bolton keeper Ali Al Habsi has taken his place between the sticks, but with the Oman international ineligible to play against his parent club last weekend, Kirkland reclaimed the gloves.

However, Al Habsi was recalled to the starting line-up for Tuesday night’s 2-0 triumph over Swansea in the Carling Cup, with reports indicating Kirkland may be considering his future at the DW Stadium.

When asked whether he was worried the shot-stopper might depart the Latics come January, Martinez replied: “No, not at all.

“What Chris Kirkland has done for this club, he has earned the respect of everybody here and outside.

“What is important is that he needs to be 100%, injury free and a big influence around the place, like he is.

“Playing or not playing, that is just an incident of the moment. Maybe in two weeks he will be playing, and then we will have been talking for no reason.

“He is a big member of the squad and a very important asset for Wigan Athletic, and that will carry on.”

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