Roberto Martinez believes Wigan Athletic were denied a clear penalty at a pivotal moment of their match against Everton which ended in a 2-1 defeat.
With the home side leading 1-0 and Latics building their way back into the game after an impressive first-half, Shaun Maloney was upended inside the area in what looked a certain decision at the time and when looking back on replays, but referee Lee Mason thought otherwise and instead booked Maloney for simulation, before Phil Jagielka made it 2-0 shortly afterwards.
Martinez said that whilst it is disappointing to see another worthy performance go unrewarded, his players must keep trying to influence games as much as possible and protect their own goal more if results are to turn around:
“I didn’t have the best of views when it (the penalty incident) happened live, but Shaun Maloney is not the type of player to go down with ease and he didn’t need to go down in that situation. It was a one-v-one situation and he was past the defender before being brought down, it was a clear penalty.
“In the run of the game it was a key moment; we were dealt an unlucky blow in Everton’s first goal with a deflection from a soft shot but the reaction was very good after a slow start to the second-half.
“A penalty and chance to bring the scores level mat well have resulted in a different final outcome which the performance deserved, but we need to try and forget about this bad luck we’ve had lately and make sure we keep trying to affect as much aspects of the game as possible.
“This is one of those spells in which nothing is going our way but we can only rely on ourselves to change that and find a reaction.”
Latics went into the break on top after a bright opening 45 minutes that resulted in few chances on goal, but succeeded in frustrating to home side, as Martinez explained:
“Goodison Park can be a fiery venue and you need to be mentally prepared to play there, and we showed all the composure necessary in the first-half.
“We coped with their play with ease and maybe should have had more to show from our own spells in possession, but overall it was a controlling performance which ended up with Everton having a two-goal lead from very little effort which is disappointing.
“The reaction was positive and the goal we got back, together with the penalty decision we should have been awarded should have given us a positive result.
“We do need to do more to make sure we try and keep a clean sheet and prevent goals going in, because we’re making it difficult from ourselves by going behind in games and having a mountain to climb at times.
“It’s important now that we get everyone back from injury, fit again and competing for places in the team. That energy and intensity which will come from competition in the squad will help make a difference at both ends of the pitch.”
Finally, the Gaffer commented on Arouna Kone’s fifth goal of the season, but also explained that the team needs to work together to ensure such goals bring greater rewards, saying:
“He deserved that for his strength and determination in this game and in recent weeks. Scoring goals is of course very important but we have to make sure not to put pressure on our goal scorers by keeping clean sheets at the other end.”