Boselli scores again as Austria week finishes
TSG HOFFENHEIM . . . . . . . . . . . 1
LATICS .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .1
Bad Wimsbach, Austria
The Austrian adventure is over for another year, and Latics can go home unbeaten from their three games after a more than creditable draw against a strong Hoffenheim of the German Bundesliga.
In a match that with an hour to go before kick-off looked in doubt following a torrential downpour of almost Biblical proportions, the sun came out as a great Albert Crusat cross from the left wing saw Mauro Boselli grabbed his third goal in as many pre-season matches with an instinctive right foot finish.
Following a German equaliser before the break, when Mathieu Delpierre headed home from a corner, an inexperienced Latics back line in the second half withstood long spells of pressure. The evergreen Mike Pollitt looked as fresh as ever behind them to make a couple of key saves.
Roberto Martinez played ten different outfield players in each half to deploy the vast majority of his squad and declared himself more than satisfied with the evening's work.
"In the first half, I thought we passed the ball around very well," he said, "and Mauro showed once again that he is a player who has an instinctive eye for goal. In the second half, it was a completely different match, with both teams making a lot of changes.
"I was pleased with the way the defence played in the second half, with Emmerson Boyce the most experienced player and leading by example for the young boys Jordan Mustoe and Danny Redmond, while Adrian Lopez played well too."
Overall, Martinez says that the Austria trip has been really fruitful.
"It has been a wonderful way to up the tempo of the pre-season preparations, with some really good work achieved in great surroundings.
"The mountain air is great to work in and the games we played were exactly right in terms of each one being a higher level than the one before.
"For the players, a tour such as this is a chance to focus entirely on football, where there are no distractions, and I know they are all feeling the benefits of it. We come away from the week with a real positive feeling and will be ready to go again next week in Wigan."
First half: Pollitt, Alcaraz, McCarthy, Caldwell, Jones, Crusat, Watson, Boselli, (Sammon 24), Beausejour, Stam, Golobart
Second Half: Pollitt, Di Santo, Maloney, Moses, Gomez, Boyce, Fyvie, Lopez, Mustoe, Redmond, Dicko