Martinez not worried by physical style

03 October 2010 01:18
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez defended the physical nature of the Premier League despite fearing a serious injury to one of his players.

Last weekend, Birmingham's Craig Gardner was sent off for a tackle on Franco Di Santo that left the Argentinian nursing an ankle problem.

He recovered to take his place in the starting line-up for yesterday's 2-0 win against Wolves where, with only 11 minutes on the clock, Martinez looked on in horror as Karl Henry flew into a shin-high challenge on Jordi Gomez.

The Wolves captain was swiftly shown a red card by referee Lee Mason and there was relief all round the DW Stadium when Gomez got to his feet and was able to continue, later scoring the first goal.

Wolves, and Henry in particular, have come under the spotlight for their style of play this season, while they have also been a victim, with Adlene Guedioura suffering a broken leg last weekend in a challenge by Aston Villa's Steve Sidwell.

But, although he is all too aware of the dangers, Martinez does not believe the issue should be blown out of proportion.

The Spaniard said: "I've been here for 15 years. In League Two in 1995 there were seven challenges like that every 90 minutes. It's the nature of the game.

"You get physicality and bad tackles in every league in the world. I don't think it's anything different in the Premier League. I don't think we should take it out of context.

"In football you can make those decisions to be a little bit physical. If you get the ball, great, if you don't you're risking now to be off.

"Football is a contact game and you need to be strong enough to go into challenges but you don't want to see injuries. We had it last week with Franco Di Santo.

"You see these challenges where the defender is going to get up and the striker you just hope he's going to get up but it could easily be three or four months out of the game, and that's the danger."

The victory, which was secured by Hugo Rodallega five minutes from time, was Wigan's first at the DW Stadium this season and lifted Martinez's side out of the bottom three.

The Latics were almost written off after their opening two matches brought 4-0 and 6-0 defeats by Blackpool and Chelsea respectively, so yesterday's result was a source of great pride for the former Swansea boss.

He said: "It's huge. Firstly, because you're playing against a team who we have the same aim as for the whole season and those games are little cup finals within the league.

"Secondly, because you could see the anxiety around the fans and the players. They want to get that win and in football that's the hardest thing - you need to know how to get the wins.

"And the way we played in the second half, you would say that team has been playing together for a couple of years and that's down to their work on the training ground and I'm extremely proud of them."

For Mick McCarthy, the emotions were somewhat different after a fourth Premier League defeat in succession that left Wolves second bottom of the table.

The 51-year-old was pleased with the battling spirit of his 10 men and felt they were hard done by with the free-kick, awarded for a foul by Dave Edwards on Charles N'Zogbia, that Gomez curled into the top corner for the 65th-minute opener.

He said: "It's a long time to hold out, 79 minutes. I thought we did it remarkably well. I thought the free-kick was a milky one, I have to be honest. I thought N'Zogbia fouled Dave Edwards first of all."

Source: Team_Talk

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