Martinez hails Baggies commitment
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes the intensity of his side's victory over West Brom on Saturday was a credit to the Premier League. The Latics needed to win to maintain realistic hopes of surviving the drop and duly delivered a dramatic 3-2 success, coming from behind twice before Callum McManaman grabbed an 80th-minute winner. But while Wigan's motivations at The Hawthorns were clear, West Brom had little obvious to play for. They are well clear of the relegation scrap in eighth place, already have their record points tally and cannot break into the European places. Yet they pushed their visitors all the way, Shane Long and Gareth McAuley putting them ahead on two occasions before replies from Arouna Kone and James McArthur. McArthur then headed off the line in the closing seconds as the Baggies pushed for a late leveller. Martinez, having banked a result that brings his side two points from safety, was full of praise for the home side's efforts. "In other leagues around the world you see a mid-table team and the players are thinking about their holidays and switching off, but I think this was an incredible advert for the Premier League," he said. "West Brom threw everything at us. They looked like a team playing to avoid relegation. "It's an incredible credit to them and that's why we're in the best league in the world." Martinez, who has overseen narrow escape acts in each of the last two seasons, was adamant his side could not have settled for a point yesterday. Even though they were chasing the game for long periods, the Spaniard insists the emphasis was always on snatching victory. "It would have been a big mistake to try and sit back for a point," said Martinez. "We had to win this football game, we couldn't afford to just hold on for a point and take it to the next game. "I'm pleased at the manner in which the players showed incredible focus and determination." Baggies head coach Steve Clarke echoed his opposite number's sentiments by insisting his side remain fully focused despite the safety of their position. "I've said all along that our players want to play well and break 50 points. We want to finish eighth and nobody can point fingers at us and say we're not trying," said the Scot. "It was an open and entertaining game for most of the people watching, but not so much for our fans because we were on the wrong end of the five goals. "When you play Wigan you know you are in for an open, expansive game. We decided to be open as well and to have a go. "I thought we had really good control and scored a fantastic first goal but then we went to sleep a little bit. "We gave Wigan a life. A team down at the bottom always needs a little crumb to stay in the game and the equaliser just before half-time gave them that. "Sometimes it's just not your day and I got that feeling when it went to 2-2 that it wasn't going our way. Unfortunately, that's the way it turned out." Both sides are back in action on Tuesday, with Wigan hosting Martinez's former club Swansea and West Brom travelling to deposed champions Manchester City.
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