Refs need to protect players - Martinez

15 October 2010 01:31
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez wants referees to become increasingly vigilant so that skilful players can perform without fear. Martinez's side face a Newcastle team who are without the services of Hatem Ben Arfa on Saturday. The 23-year-old midfielder, who is on loan from Marseille, suffered a double fracture of his leg following a challenge from Manchester City's Nigel de Jong that was widely criticised. 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. You don't want to see players missing months of a season because of a bad tackle."

Source: PA