Martinez - Stojkovic can cope
Roberto Martinez believes Vladimir Stojkovic has enough experience to cope if he makes his Premier League debut at Blackburn.
Last Updated: 26/01/10 4:58pm
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes on-loan keeper Vladimir Stojkovic has enough experience to cope if he makes his Premier League debut at Blackburn on Wednesday.
The Serbia international made his Wigan debut on Saturday, and put in an impressive display in the 2-2 FA Cup fourth-round draw with League Two side Notts County.
He is now in line to play in the derby clash at Ewood Park on Wednesday as regular first-choice keeper Chris Kirkland is sidelined for a fortnight with a collarbone injury.
If he does play, Martinez believes the keeper - who is on loan from Sporting Lisbon - has enough experience to cope.
The Wigan boss said: "It is important Vladimir played in the FA Cup to get a taste of the English game.
"He has been with us for over two weeks now so he knows the players and he wants to play and that allows him to fight for his position with a bit of an insight into the British game.
"You don't want to lose players like Chris but it is important we now have Vladimir and Mike Pollitt giving us competition in that position.
"He is an international goalkeeper and, when you are looking to go to a World Cup, you have that extra bit of experience and know-how on how to perform in any game you play.
"I don't know if they will look to target him but he is an experienced boy, he has played in four leagues around Europe and to play for Serbia you need to be of a certain assurance.
"If he plays, I have no doubts he will be ready and be a big asset for us.
"Blackburn have a huge physical threat and are very powerful and we will have to handle that."
Meanwhile, Martinez has played down a claim by Spanish club Villarreal that striker Marco Ruben is due to sign for the Latics imminently.
The Primera Division side put out a statement on Tuesday morning claiming a deal was almost done and the Argentinian gave a farewell interview to the club's website.
But Martinez moved to play down reports of a pending £7million transfer, saying: "It is something that is not finalised or concluded yet so we cannot speak about it.
"It is the nature of where we are. It is people talking. Our focus is on the Blackburn game, which is massive.
"If we can help the players by bringing in others who have something different, that will be very welcome."