ANGEL Martinez says Christmas in England is a totally new experience for overseas players.
The Spaniard is enjoying his second festive period on the Fylde coast after joining from Girona at the start of last season.
In his native Spain clubs get Christmas off, so Angel admits he’s still getting to grips with playing so many games over such spell.
“We never ever play over Christmas in Spain, so it’s very difficult for us to get used to,” he said.
“Alberto Noguera asked me if we get to go home at Christmas, and I just laughed.
“It’s difficult for us with our families over in Spain.
“Christmas and New Year are family times, but this is a job so I understand that.
“In Spain they stop the football and everyone spends time with their family.
“My team mates are my family now, so I’ll be spending Christmas with them.
“This is my work, I have to play, so I’ll enjoy Christmas here.
“My daughter and my wife are staying here, so that’s good.”
The 26-year-old has found himself back in Pool’s starting line-up after a spell on the sidelines.
The form of Chris Basham in midfield meant he had to be patient on the bench during new boss Michael Appleton’s first few games in charge.
“It wasn’t frustrating, as I knew the situation,” Martinez added.
“Bash was playing really well in there, so I was really pleased for the team.
“It’s good that we have such competition and that the gaffer has options and choices.
“When the manager has difficulties choosing his team, that’s great news for him.
“I never accept being sub, obviously I want to play all the time.
“But I recognised how well Bash did.
“The fact that we have to fight for our places makes everything better, even training every day as we have to prove we should be playing.”
Angel looks again set to feature for the Seasiders for the Boxing Day trip to Huddersfield, after some decent performances in central midfield.
And he appears very impressed with the new regime under Appleton.
He said: “The manager has been very good, the training now is very different. We work hard and on our fitness, everyone is happy with the new manager.
“Hopefully we are seeing the results of the hard for now.
“He’s a very passionate and competitive man, he wants us to win every game.
“I just keep working hard every day to help the team.
“I think the players’ confidence is growing all the time here.
“As we get fitter, we get confident.
“In the second half of the season, we’ll be strong, ready and I think we’ll climb the league.”