Football FanCast speaks to Ali Al Habsi

Al Habsi Penalty Saver 2How are you enjoying your competition for a position in the Wigan Starting eleven with Joel at the moment?

Joel is playing really well at the moment and I think that having to be patient when you are not playing is part of being a professional footballer. I am fit and I am ready for when the manager decides to call me in again. You just have to be ready to take your chance when you are waiting like I am and this part of being a professional.

There is a heavy emphasis on football in the Middle East with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar do you feel enough is being done to improve the awareness and level of football in the region ahead of this?

I feel there is a lot being done to improve the level of football especially in Oman. I think the World Cup in Qatar is something that will help the profile of football in the Middle East and it will be a success.

How much of a boost is it having a manager like Roberto Martinez in the fight for survival?

He is a manager who has been there before as we have as a team. I think that he really will help us in our bid for survival.  He knows how to get the players at the right level and we are lucky to have him at the club. I think all of us are ready for the tough games we have left.

What is your take on the late kick off to the FA Cup final do you feel sympathy for the fans trying to get back after the game?

I do not think this will be an issue. There will be so many supporters coming down to the final whether it through car or coach or train and I think they will all have a great day out. They know that this is a special day and we hope that we can put a performance on for them.

There have been some professional footballers who have got some adverse headlines with their driving in recent times, so how do you feel your safety first campaign you set up in Oman will help eradicate this image?

I hope this will help people see that something good is going on here. It is going well as there are a lot of tragic accidents in Oman and we are trying to stop them. This project has been going on for 11 months and we are really happy with the progress we have made. However, to be truly successful we know that this will take years and years of work.

In the run in to the season how vital do you feel Arouna Kone is to Wigan’s chances?

He is a fantastic player and his goals have really helped us. He is on the top of his game and it always helps to know that we have a goal scorer like him when we need him. The rest of us are ready too and we feel we can deliver in the run in this season in what is an exciting time for the football club.

If given the choice what would you prefer to win the FA Cup final or survival in the Premier League?

I would choose both. If I had to pick one though it would definitely be survival in the Premier League as for us, as footballers, it is important to be playing at the highest level.

Ali Al Habsi wears the new Sondico Platinum Roll Finger Classic with a latex unigrip to provide unrivalled grip in all weather conditions. Buy your Sondico gloves at Sportsdirect.com