Gardner was reckless - Martinez

25 September 2010 07:15
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hit out at Craig Gardner for a "reckless challenge" after the Birmingham player was sent off in Saturday's 0-0 draw.Gardner was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Franco Di Santo and Martinez revealed the striker may have injured ligaments in his ankle. [LNB]"He has a couple of nasty cuts in his leg - you can see the challenge was really high," said Martinez. [LNB]He insisted Gardner used "excessive force", adding "it was a red card". [LNB]Birmingham manager Alex McLeish said had no complaints about the sending-off. [LNB]"At the time I just thought it was two players together and you couldn't avoid a collision but I've seen it on video and we won't be appealing," he said.[LNB] Great result considering Birmingham's fantastic home record, well done boys, clean sheet too!! wiganrulefc "I don't think it was a massively dirty tackle but when your studs are showing, it's come more and more into the English game. [LNB]"You might have got away with it a year ago but, when there are studs colliding with a player's leg, then the refs are clamping down on that in this country. [LNB]"It's been in international football for a long time but as long as everyone is consistent I don't mind. The ref was in a good position and, under the rules, he's made the right decision." [LNB]Martinez also praised Charles N'Zogbia for the way he handled abuse from the Birmingham crowd after the collapse of his proposed move to St Andrew's in the summer. [LNB]The Wigan boss said: "I thought he coped with it very well. I was never in doubt because he loves that sort of challenge.[LNB] [LNB][LNB]Unbeaten home record delights McLeish[LNB]"I think in football when you get the opposition crowd targeting you it's a football compliment because they see you as a threat, as someone who can win the game and I felt he took it in that manner. [LNB]"He was a threat, worked really hard and is slowly getting back to his best." [LNB]Birmingham are now unbeaten in 18 top-flight home games, equalling their best ever run. [LNB]McLeish said: "I am proud of the record. There was a lot of pressure on us today due to the media coverage of the record. [LNB]"I am sure there were a lot of people predicting we would lose the record just because of all the hype but it was something we couldn't avoid and I told the players that. [LNB]"We put it aside and did everything in our powers to get the three points. We just couldn't get the ball into the net."

Source: BBC_Sport