Tuesday, January 12, 2010

James McCarthy ready for the Premiership

Roberto Martinez believes Ireland U21 international James McCarthy is ready to play a big part for Wigan in the second-half of the season.

The 19-year-old signed from Hamilton in the summer having been tracked by some of Europe's biggest clubs since the age of 16.

However the midfielder has had to remain patient so far this season with just two appearances to his name before the FA Cup clash with Hull City.

Martinez decided to give the Ireland international only his second start of the season against the Tigers, a decision that was vindicated when McCarthy scored on his way to a man-of-the-match display in a 4-1 win and his manager feels he can now kick on.

"He showed on Saturday that he is ready. We all know James is going to be a big star in world football," the Latics boss said.

"He has been working very hard and lately you could see he was ready in training and on Saturday he showed that he was ready to enjoy his football and ready to win games for Wigan."

Martinez revealed that McCarthy was beginning to get frustrated with his lack of first-team opportunities but the former Swansea manager saw that as a good thing.

"When you get frustrated it is because you are ready to play," he added.

"Sometimes you get a big move into the Premier League and with the change of environment it is very different and sometimes you lose the focus on your game.

"It was a big move for him as a young man when he came down from Scotland as it was the first time he had moved away from his only club and that takes time.

"It is important we help the youngsters - and every player that comes to Wigan. James has had the period he needed to settle in and now he is ready to play football and enjoy it.

"When he does that I'm sure the fans will enjoy it too."

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