Sport

Wigan Athletic’s Roberto Martinez praises in-form Bournemouth after FA Cup draw at DW Stadium

By Michael Kelleher

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez praised Bournemouth after earning a draw with his side in the FA Cup third round at the DW Stadium.

Spaniard Jordi Gomez levelled for Wigan in the second-half – on the rebound after his penalty was saved – after Eunan O’Kane gave the League One side a surprise half-time lead with a superb strike.

Martinez was impressed with the quality of the League One side’s play and felt they were good value for the draw, a result which stretches the Cherries unbeaten run to 17 games.

“It’s no coincidence that they’ve had a 16-game unbeaten period,” he said.

“I thought they were really well organised. They played with really good tempo and off-the-ball they worked extremely hard.

“And on-the-ball they tried to play, get the ball wide and they had good pace in the team so overall I thought it was a really good Bournemouth side.

Wigan made nine changes for the game with only Maynor Figueroa and Emmerson Boyce retained from the defeat to Manchester United and Martinez was pleased with how his younger players coped.

“From our point of view, when you make nine changes it is going to take a bit of time to get the partnerships knowing each other,” he added.

“But I thought overall we controlled the game very well and I was pleased with the youngsters, especially Roman Golobart who had a faultless performance.

“We’ve spent a lot of money on the youth facilities and if we are going to do that we need to brave enough and patient enough to give them opportunities.

“I thought everyone showed they were ready. In the second half we had a few chances but overall I do think Bournemouth deserved a draw.”

O’Kane gave the Cherries the lead just before half-time with a clinical left-footed strike into the corner after he was afforded space to shoot on the edge of the box.

Gomez almost spurned the chance to equalise from the penalty spot on 70 minutes when his tame effort was saved by Bournemouth goalkeeper Shwan Jalal but he tucked home the rebound.

The result means the Cherries will have a second chance to pull off an upset in a replay at Dean Court.

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks.

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