Wary Roberto Martinez side steps referee comments and focusses on positives as Everton snatch late draw

By Michael Kelleher

Roberto Martinez is keen to focus on the positives following Wigan Athletic’s 2-2 draw with Everton at the DW Stadium yesterday.

Wigan had looked set for victory in the game until Maynor Figueroa conceded a penalty in the 87th minute for pulling back Everton striker Kevin Mirallas, which Leighton Baines coolly slotted home.

The draw leaves Wigan in 16th position in the league table with five points from seven games although Reading, who are two points further back, have a game in hand after their game with Sunderland was called off earlier in the season.

“I thought it was a very positive performance from our point of view and a performance that can kick-start the season,” the Spaniard told Sky Sports.

“We looked a really solid unit. The work rate from this Everton team didn’t surprise us at all but I think we battled really well.

“Our football was composed and of a real high standard. We looked a real threat every time we went into the final third.

“In the second half Everton created a lot of momentum as you would expect but then we created the better chances on the counter.

“But today we felt we probably needed the two goal cushion to get the three points.”

Martinez was also careful to avoid criticising the match officials when discussing a controversial incident between Figueroa and Marouane Fellaini after receiving a £10,000 fine from the FA for his post-match comments following his team’s loss to Manchester United last month.

The Wigan boss felt Everton midfielder Fellaini elbowed Figueroa as the pair contested an aerial ball and was lucky to escape with only a yellow card.

“I had a very straight view,” Martinez explained. “Fellaini comes across with his arm and you’ve got the fourth official, the linesman and referee to make a call and that’s how it has to be judged.

“Sometimes with these decisions, it could be a red card but it could well be a yellow card.

“The referee was certain in his decision and the linesman he was not certain whether it was a red card either.

“When you are not certain you cannot give the red card, so it was probably the right decision.”

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