Staying up would be ‘like winning the title’, says Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez after his side came from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Arouna Kone, James McArthur and Callum McManaman secured a vital win for the Latics after Shane Long and Gareth McAuley had twice put the Baggies in front.
And Martinez believes the result showed his side’s character and was delighted they became the first team to score three goals at West Brom this season.
“If we stay up it would be like winning the title,” he told BBC Sport.
“We showed our character and never accepted defeat. To come back twice from behind at a place as difficult as this is huge.
“And to score three goals in open play here is very pleasing and I don’t think anyone else has done that this season.”
The Baggies took the lead approaching the half-hour mark when Markus Rosenberg outpaced the Wigan defence to cross for Long who easily slotted home.
Just ten minutes later the Latics were level after a good advantage from the referee allowed Kone to power a header past Ben Foster from Jean Beausejour’s cross.
The Wigan goalscorer was then at fault for West Brom’s second five minutes after the break as he lost McAuley who converted Graham Dorran’s free-kick.
Then almost on the hour, McArthur, who came on as a substitute only seconds earlier restored parity with a diving header at the far post.
A creative force throughout the game, Shaun Maloney then crossed for McManaman to seal three crucial points ten minutes from time.
The result leaves Wigan just two points behind Sunderland and the Spanish boss feels his players learned a lot from last’ week’s disappointment against Tottenham Hotspur.
“Last week we dropped two points but we learned from that and showed great composure,” he added.
“We have worked really hard for two months to get us in the position where, with two weeks of the season left, we are still involved in two competitions.”
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