Draw disappoints Martinez
Published 30/01/2013 | 07:02
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was proud of the character his side showed at Stoke - but was ultimately disappointed they could only come away from the contest with a point.
The Latics scored two fine goals at the Britannia Stadium through James McArthur's clipped finish in the 50th minute and striker Franco Di Santo's volley in the 61st, although it only served as a fightback following Ryan Shawcross' opener for Stoke and Peter Crouch's 48th-minute strike.
Martinez said: "One counter-attack gave them a two-goal lead and I don't think there are many teams at the Britannia Stadium that would be able to come back from that. But from that point on, you look at the way we kept the ball and the way we kept showing that character."
Reflecting on the 2-2 draw - which moved Wigan out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone, up from 19th to 17th, where they are now level on points with 18th-placed Aston Villa, Martinez added: "I feel we went into half-time with Stoke having too much to show for it (their efforts).
"The goal was from a free-kick where we were very unfortunate - we don't clear it, it hits James McCarthy on the back of his head and we are 1-0 down. That was the only shot on target they had. Then in the second half I thought we grew into the game and controlled it.
"There was a two-goal deficit but we kept playing the same way and you never saw a player losing their composure. We scored two goals which were as good as you are going to see in this league from open play, which was very difficult to do against this Stoke side.
"Then we restricted Stoke to no corners. That is down to the hard work of the players and at the end, if I'm honest with you, I think the players were very disappointed that we dropped two points."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis confirmed he had received an inquiry from his QPR counterpart Harry Redknapp about Crouch but stressed any potential deals the Potters are involved in over the next 48 hours will have to be right for the Staffordshire outfit if they are to go ahead.
Pulis said: "QPR have enquired about Peter - whether we do it or not, you will have to wait and see."
He added: "It would be nice to freshen a few things up. If we can, we'd like to get a few new faces in, and there are players here who are not playing that maybe could go out and play, but it has to be the right deals. If that happens, you only have two days to wait."