Martinez calls for vigilance
WIGAN manager Roberto Martinez wants referees to become increasingly vigilant so that skilful players can perform without fear. Martinez's side today face a Newcastle team who are without the services of Hatem Ben Arfa. The 23-year-old midfielder suffered a double fracture of his leg following a challenge from Manchester City's Nigel de Jong. While Martinez does not wish to see tackling outlawed, he is keen for players to act with care. He said: The Premier League has a competitive edge. Tackling is an art and needs to be in the game. You need to be accurate, not reckless, as you risk a red card, letting your team down and letting yourself down. It is a thin line between a player getting injured or winning a challenge. It is important the referees get these decisions right so we can protect the creative players. Those are the types of players the fans want to see. Maybe 15-20 years ago you had footballers playing football. Now you have athletes playing football. That means the speed and the power of every challenge is different. You don't want to see players missing months of a season because of a bad tackle.'' Martinez believes Chris Hughton's side pose a stiff test. Once you get relegated it is very difficult to regroup. What they have achieved over the last 15 months is just an example of how things should be done in a challenging position,'' Martinez said. Their results have been inconsistent but they have a very strong group of players who know what it means to play for Newcastle. You need to match them physically and you have to match their enthusiasm.
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