Martinez: Carry on attacking
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has told his team to carry on attacking as he prepares for the visit of Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The Latics' enthralling clash with Reading last weekend saw 35 attempts on goal at either end and the game was settled in Wigan's favour, 3-2, by hat-trick hero Jordi Gomez's dramatic stoppage-time winner. Facing the champions might prompt some to consider tightening up but Martinez has no such plans ahead of Wednesday night's Barclays Premier League outing at the DW Stadium. The Spaniard said:
"I am not a manager that looks for a clean sheet. I am looking for a win.
"If you have to score three goals to win, as long as you can do it, I am happier with that.
"The amount of attempts we have created from open play, we look a real threat in that last third.
"That is a sign of a team that is starting to understand the role we are going to play at home, at times, when we play teams who are well organised or defensively well set up.
"You need to be a little bit patient but I can't be critical of our attacking play. It is as good as we have been going forward.
"Clearly you don't want to concede soft goals and at the moment we are doing that.
"But if you can find a way to outscore the opposition, I would take that rather than just keeping a clean sheet in every game."
Martinez is pleased with the way his side are playing but feels they are still short of the points tally they should have. With 13 games - a third of the campaign - gone, Latics have 14 points, five more than they had at the same stage last season. But given that that places them just four points above the bottom three, Martinez hardly sees that as a cause for celebration. He said:
"It is one of those moments where it is good to look back and analyse the first third of the competition - the first 13 games give you a lot of information.
"From our point of view it is better than where we were last season but, if I am honest, we are disappointed.
"You cannot come up with a number, but what you can come up with is a certain level of performance.
"We have reached that but we couldn't get the points I feel those performances deserved. That is something we need to work on and improve.
"I do feel the performances have been a lot better than the points reflect. That is the target for the next third of the competition."
City have not reproduced the level of brilliance that saw them set the standard last season but they remain unbeaten and handily placed in their title defence. Martinez feels some of the criticism aimed at Roberto Mancini's side, who have failed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, has been unfair. He said:
"The reality is Manchester City are the only team unbeaten in the league.
"This season they have played with that winning mentality. That means that sometimes when they are not playing at their best, or they cannot maintain the level for 90 minutes, they always find the way to get a positive result.
"That is probably the big difference between this Manchester City team and last season.
"They are capable of getting results in any situation.
"This Manchester City have got the arrogance of a winning team and the winning mentality.
"That is why they have produced such an effective season so far in the league."
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