Sport

‘Defend better’: Roberto Martinez warns Wigan Athletic to expect defeat if conceding three goals at home

By Aimee Howarth

Wigan Athletic need to defend better if they are to stay out of the Premier League’s bottom three after gifting Sunderland the win, according to Roberto Martinez.

David Vaughan’s own goal put Wigan ahead, but a Craig Gardner penalty and Steven Fletcher’s double sealed the Black cats’ win, despite Angelo Henriquez’s late consolation.

And with Wigan the only top-flight team yet to keep a clean sheet at home this season, Martinez called for defensive improvements as they fight for survival.

“They had four attempts on target which is all the three goals they had. We need to defend those situations better,” he told the club website.

“When you don’t play well you need to be able to defend and you can’t allow the opposition to take such an advantage.

“You cannot be pleased when you get beat in home in the manner that we did today. It’s a very difficult result to take.

“If any game of football if you concede three goals in the manner that we did it is nearly impossible to get a result out of it.”

The defeat means Wigan have taken just two points from their last nine games and drops them into the bottom three in the league.

After seeing his side take the lead, Martinez was frustrated as their control of the game slipped away but believes their second-half performance shows they have enough to escape the drop.

“I thought we started bright enough but once we scored, a little bit of a combination of not being able to keep the ball well enough, we didn’t control the game from that point on,” he said.

“Then in the second-half it was a better reaction and we scored one goal and we were unfortunate not to get more. It’s disappointing that we have to get ourselves in that position.

“We wanted to score first and once we achieved that we should have been a little more lively on what we do on the ball and control our destiny a bit better in the first half.

“We’ve been in this situation time after time but now we need to look back at the experiences and understand how we need to affect the performances.”

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

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