Kirkland hopes to keep jersey
Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland is hoping to stay off the sidelines after starting the 1-1 draw with Bolton.
Last Updated: 24/10/10 6:01pm
Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is hoping to stay off the sidelines after starting in the 1-1 draw with Bolton.
Kirkland started his first match for two months on Saturday and turned in an impressive performance in the DW Stadium stalemate.
The former England shot-stopper has had to bide his time, with on-loan Trotters keeper Ali Al Habsi, who was ineligible on Saturday, currently the first choice.
But the 29-year-old has intentions of keeping his place in the Latics' starting XI., telling Latics Player: "It's been quite a while but training's been going well and you just have to be ready. We'll have to see what happens now.
"All credit to Ali - he's done great since he's come in so all I can do is try to give the gaffer a bit of a headache."
Wigan forward Hugo Rodallega had put the hosts ahead with a clinical finish to a great move involving Charles N'Zogbia and Franco Di Santo.
Clinical was hardly the appropriate word to describe the rest of Rodallega's performance, though, with his finishing summed up by a header from a Jordi Gomez corner that he somehow directed wide.
Despite the misses, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was pleased with the Colombian's performance.
"I thought he got in very good positions," said the Spaniard. "The combination and the understanding between him, Jordi and Franco was really good and he had two or three opportunities that he always scores from those spots.
"But that's where I like to see Hugo, enjoying his football and having that intensity that he needs."
The result extended Bolton's unbeaten Premier League run to five matches and Wigan's to four, with Martinez's men continuing their improvement after a poor start to the campaign.
N'Zogbia, who came close to leaving the club this summer, has been the catalyst, and the Frenchman put in another impressive performance on Saturday.
Martinez credited the growing strength in his squad for the string of decent results, although he knows there is still plenty of work to do.
The Latics boss said: "Charles is getting better game by game and that's down to the competition we have in the squad.
"Tom Cleverley came on and really showed you what he's capable of, and when you've got players like that throughout the squad, the ones who are in the line-up haven't got much margin for error, and that's the healthy position we have in this squad.
"We had to work extremely hard over three (transfer) windows to be in this position.
"We went for a group of players full of potential and probably the price is what we've seen - domination of the game, creating the best chances and you don't get the three points.
"We need to make sure we earn that experience, that know-how. If we fulfil the potential of the squad, I think we're going to achieve all the aims we set out at the beginning of the season."