Belfast Telegraph

Martinez hails unity of players

Roberto Martinez hailed the unity within his relegation-threatened Wigan side after they overcame two major injury blows to secure a 1-1 draw at Bolton.

When on-loan Benfica forward Rodrigo Moreno produced a delightful finish to put Owen Coyle's men ahead in the 54th minute, the stage was set for the Trotters to emerge victorious. Yet Wigan refused to lie down and Dutchman Ronnie Stam stabbed home at the far post in the 80th minute to claim his first Wigan goal and earn his side a precious point.

Martinez - whose squad was already depleted - said: "We came here with four major injuries and a suspension, then we went 1-0 down. But it's about how you react. It's all too easy to accept defeat and look to the next game. That wasn't the attitude. We got the goal and the character that we showed was a platform that we need for the next 17 games."

Referee Phil Dowd's decision to show Stam a yellow card led Martinez to accuse the official of lacking common-sense.

"We are putting the players into such a demanding, stressful environment, with five games in 13 days," said Martinez.

"We don't need quantity, we need quality and we play too many games. You see Ronnie Stam giving his all and enjoying his celebration, so you need to show a bit of common-sense."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle felt his side should have emerged with all three points.

The Scot said: "If you had offered Wigan a point beforehand I'd suggest they would have done handstands to get it. But I said to the players at half-time that if we took more care with the ball then we could cut them open.

"And if truth be told we did that on numerous occasions, scoring a wonderful goal through such a talented player who is only 19.

"We had chance upon chance, never took them, but we switched off and got punished. My disappointment is in the goal that we lost because it has cost us the three points."


From Belfast Telegraph