‘We will be ok’: Angry Roberto Martinez upbeat for Wigan Athletic survival despite late Spurs equaliser

By Aimee Howarth

Disappointed Roberto Martinez blasted an ‘unfair’ last-minute free-kick as Tottenham Hotspur equalised to deny Wigan Athletic three crucial points as they fight for survival.

Tom Huddlestone’s set piece deflected off Emmerson Boyce to level the score after Boyce’s header cancelled out Gareth Bale’s opener and Callum McManaman’s strike put Wigan ahead.

But after watching his side recover from going a goal down at the DW Stadium, Martinez felt they were the better team and insisted the free-kick should not have been awarded.

“It’s unfair today. I thought we coped with the threat of Spurs really well. We were undone in a free kick that should never have been allowed to stand,” he told BBC Sport.

“It’s a free-kick the other way. It’s the wrong decision and it costs us two points. That’s the real disappointment, playing against such a talented side.

“But when you are at the bottom of the table it seems you attract the ball to the back of your net sometimes.

“Those are the small margins which sometimes affect the results. But I’ll take the result, I’ll take the performance and move on.”

Tottenham’s opener came after nine minutes when Bale charged down goalkeeper Joel Robles’s clearance in the area and the ball rebounded off him into the net.

Wigan hit back two minutes later as Boyce headed home from a corner before McManaman’s swerving 25-yard strike just after the restart looked to have sealed victory.

But in the closing minutes Huddlestone’s free-kick re-bounded off Boyce’s leg into his own goal, denying the home side a win that would have lifted them out of the bottom three.

The draw leaves Wigan two points from safety with four games remaining but Martinez said recent performances have convinced him they can retain top flight status.

“The performance of the players was magnificent. I couldn’t be happier and prouder,” he said.

“If we perform like this and how we did in the two previous games the results will come and then we will be ok. It was a performance well worthy of the three points.

“Today is one of those days a big game at home and we were a little bit sluggish in making decisions – but we got two goals and a well-deserved lead.

“You need to remember first and foremost we were playing against an outstanding side and I thought we were magnificent throughout.”

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks

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