Belfast Telegraph

Martinez has no issue with Attwell

Roberto Martinez has no problem with Stuart Attwell refereeing Wigan's clash at Manchester City this weekend despite controversy in the fixture last year.

The Wigan boss was fined and warned as to his future conduct after criticising Attwell's performance in Latics' 3-0 defeat at Eastlands 12 months ago. Martinez was incensed by the second-half sending off of Gary Caldwell for a tackle on Carlos Tevez and later accused Attwell of lying over the reasons for the dismissal.

"We are all human beings and we all make mistakes, but to give a decision after something you don't see, that is lying, you are making it up," said the Spaniard after the game.

"He said he saw Gary Caldwell with both feet off the ground. That's why he gave the red card. But Gary Caldwell only went with one foot. That is a real injustice."

It was a rare outburst from the normally mild-mannered Martinez and it cost him £2,250 as the Football Association hit him with a fine.

Martinez is still disappointed with that verdict but will not dwell on it as, by coincidence, Attwell takes charge of another Barclays Premier League fixture between the two sides on Saturday.

Martinez said: "It was the first time I had been fined and it was disappointing because it was a big decision. I know how difficult the role of the referee is but it was just that particular incident.

"The more you watch it on television - my player got heavily punished in a very important game and then got suspended for three games in a relegation scrap for a two-footed challenge he never made.

"That is something that is difficult to take but it is water under the bridge. Now it is time to look forward and make sure Stuart can enjoy his refereeing in the game on Saturday. It was a little bit of a surprise to see him in this fixture.

"There are too many similarities to what happened last season - it is an evening kick-off, live on the same TV channel - but I am sure he will be composed and at his best. I know Stuart has been refereeing very well, he is a referee with a very bright future."

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