Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez takes positives from frustrating Stoke City draw

By Mancunian Matters staff

Frustrated Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez believes he can draw positives from his side’s home draw with Stoke City.

Martinez had hoped for consecutive wins in the Barclays Premier League after last week’s excellent 2-0 win away to Southampton, and led early through Shaun Maloney, while Franco Di Santo fired in a superb goal.

Wigan, who lost Jean Beausejour through injury, were pegged back twice by Tony Pulis’ team, through Jon Walters and Peter Crouch, but Martinez felt his side were largely untroubled by Stoke’s direct approach and was disappointed to not get all three points.

“It was a frustrating outcome because of the manner in which we started the game, and perhaps we needed that two-goal cushion,” Martinez told the club’s website.

“Up to that point Stoke’s performance didn’t affect us at all, but when you score a goal from very little as we know Stoke can we struggled to move the ball as well as we can and therefore opened up spaces around the pitch.

“The first goal arrived at the right time after hard work to earn it, and then the injury to Beausejour and the equaliser brought about that frustration.

“After what we saw in the final stages a point is a positive result and we’ll make sure to learn from the overall performance.”

Martinez felt striker Di Santo’s second-half effort deserved to seal all three points for Wigan, while keeper Ali Al Habsi left the DW Stadium with his manager’s praise ringing in his ears.

Martinez added: “The second goal is as good a goal as you’ll see anywhere in the Premier League and a great example of how to perform your duties defensively, before linking up with your strike performer and show real composure in the final third.

“It was a goal worthy of collecting three points, and after it we had to try and cope with Stoke physicality which we couldn’t quite do. 

“Ali showed some tremendous goalkeeping and to be fair some of the saves he produces don’t surprise us anymore because we know the standards he has.

“He had to be at his best to help us get a positive result today knowing that he was going to be tested by a Stoke team who are unbeaten this season.”

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