Wigan boss Martinez ready to paint Toon red

First published in Sport

WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez is preparing to paint Newcastle red in this evening’s Premier League clash at St James’ Park.

The Latics manager was boosted by the first hour of his side’s performance against defending champions Manchester City in midweek and hopes the debut of Wigan’s new all-red third kit will evoke memories of previous successes. It will be the first time Wigan have played in red since 2003 when they were crowned Division Two champions.

Martinez hopes the return to red will help evoke a winning mentality against a Newcastle side desperate for a win.

“We have some very happy memories of playing in red kits and I feel it’s important that you associate iconic kits with success,’’ the Spaniard said.

“Hopefully we will be able to look back on Monday’s game with similar sentiments.

“First when we wore red it was a very nice moment in the victory against Huddersfield in the 100 point season to get promotion and I don’t think we were very lucky with our third kit being white so we’re looking to see how we can perform with this new kit.’’ Wigan are unable to play in blue and white stripes or black due to Newcastle’s shirt designs.

The Magpies, who are just one place above Wigan in the overall league standings in 14th place, will be hoping to turn around their form after they failed to win a game in any competition last month.

Their most recent victory came at home to West Brom on 28 October but Martinez is refusing to take Alan Pardew’s side lightly.

“We need to remember that Newcastle are capable of reaching really good heights of performance and results,’’ Martinez said.

“Remember what they achieved last season was a phenomenal achievement and it’s going to be a very difficult game.

“Sometimes in this league you can get in a run of bad results but we’re going to expect Newcastle to perform very well on Monday and make if difficult.

‘‘After the performance on Wednesday you get the feeling of frustration to get a positive result and we are looking forward to the next game and that is at St James’ Park which is a phenomenal football environment.’’ The Latics boss added: “They are a very difficult team to play against and are a team of real quality and up front they can score with ease.”

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