How do you rate Wigan’s season so far?
Well apart from what’s seemed like a season-long relegation fight then it’s been ok. We’ve played some good football but there hasn’t been enough consistency unfortunately. The win away at Tottenham was great and we’ve not been too bad away from home but simple as it sounds we’ve lost too many matches. Hopefully the FA Cup won’t be a distraction for our league run in.
Do you think you’ll stave off relegation?
I think that last relegation spot is still in the balance and it’ll probably be between us, Villa and Sunderland. Unfortunately Villa seem to coming into a bit of form and Sunderland have just got a new manager so it could be us. Saying that our form’s been ok since the turn of the year so we might be ok. I think it might come down to the last day though.
Roberto Martinez nearly moved to Liverpool in the summer. How do fans rate him?
I think he has to be admired for what he has achieved over the past few years. For a town team with a relatively small budget, we’ve survived in the Premiership for so long even though at times it has seemed like we’ve been destined for the Championship. Reaching the FA Cup Final, will make it harder to hold onto him next season.
What have you made of Wigan’s January signings?
I like Espinoza — it’s good to have another Honduran in the team. It’s not Wigan if you don’t! Hernriquez looks a good young player and is much needed as we look a bit thin up front. Also January saw Paul Scharner return to club which has made it feel a bit like 2007 again at the DW. Next we’ll have Henri Camara and Kevin Kilbane coming back!
Arouna Kone has been a stand-out player for you this season. Do you think he’ll remain at the DW next season?
Kone has been a fantastic buy and has quite right been earning the plaudits this season. I think whether he’s still here depends on whether we stay up or not. If we’re in the Premiership next season, then he might stay, if not I can see a team in the top half picking him up.
Maynor Figueroa has been linked with a summer move to Upton Park. Do you think he’ll move at the end of his contract?
Unfortunately as much as I love Maynor, I think he’ll move and rumours of him moving to Upton Park don’t surprise me. Arguably we lost one of our best players to you last summer in Diame and the other to Chelsea in Victor Moses and that’s probably why we’ve been languishing for the last few seasons — we can’t keep hold of our best players.
Who should West Ham fans be wary of in the Wigan first XI when the club’s meet?
We’ve already mentioned Kone but he really is a handful — he knows where the goal is. Di Santo isn’t quite as gifted in front of goal but his link up play can open defences. The 3 M’s of Maloney, McCarthy and McArthur can also all be threats.
What’s been your opinion of West Ham this season?
Which West Ham players would you have in your squad?
I’ll always have a soft spot for Joe Cole after that goal for England against Sweden. Andy Carroll might be a bit of a carthorse but I wouldn’t mind him coming on as sub when we’re chasing a game. James Tomkins in defence looks decent as well.
What’s your prediction for both clubs?
Wigan to finish 17th, West Ham to finish 14th.