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SOFT GOALS COST US

PUBLISHED

18:46 20th April 2013

by Paul Chialton

Martinez applauds performance but bemoans missed chances and West Ham goals

Roberto Martinez admitted that he was left ‘scratching his head’ at how his team didn’t come away from Upton Park with a result, after a dominant performance that was on the end of a 2-0 defeat.


Goals from Matt Jarvis and Kevin Nolan put Latics to the sword in the capital, with Jussi Jaaskelainen produced a couple of impressive stops to thwart Shaun Maloney and James McArthur either side of the break.


Martinez pointed to his team’s efforts at both end of the pitch in being the deciding factors in the outcome of the game, saying:


“The second-half was as dominant performance as you’ll see from a team playing away from home, but we’re left scratching our heads at how West Ham have managed to score in that period.


“That was the difference for me today; we know how much of a threat they can be in the final third but we couldn’t defend that well enough.


“The two goals are very soft from our point-of-view, and if you’re going to go away from home and concede in that manner then you’ve got an impossible mission to get a result.


“At the other end you look at the opportunities we created, but unfortunately converting chances hasn’t been our strong point lately.


“Having said that the performance and efforts of the team recently has been phenomenal; both of today’s teams were tired but we were the ones showing good energy towards the end, we just had to take those chances we created.”


Results elsewhere in the Barclays Premier League saw teams around Latics move further away from the relegation zone, but the Gaffer is still calm over the requirements of his team in the final five league games of the season:


“We’ve still got an extra game on the team’s around us and still have the opportunity to reach the figure we need to achieve our aims.


“A win today would have been a fantastic step forwards for us, but the situation for us remains the same, will still have to reach a points target that will help us to be successful.


“By the same token three points today would not have seen us safe, so we’ve got five games still to go and three of those are at home where we need the warmth from our home fans.


“I hope the fans who made the journey today will have seen the effort and performance of the players and know how dominant we were.


“They were magnificent and to see them once again make the journey in a demanding period for them was inspirational. We wanted desperately to reward their efforts but now we must all come together to show the true strength of Wigan Athletic.


“We need to refresh and get the players ready to return to their best form for the arrival of Tottenham next weekend, looking forward to the warmth and heat of our fans to help us find the breaks that have eluded us in the last two games.


“We’ve done enough in the last two games to earn points, but for one reason or another a little bit of luck hasn’t been with us, so this is our chance now to change that.”


The other bad news for Martinez was the injury sustained by Antolin Alcaraz at the start of the game, forcing the Paraguayan off with his return uncertain:


“The injury to Antolin made for a very difficult afternoon for us,” said Martinez, “but the application of the players afterwards was pleasing, as was the amount of times we opened up the opposition.


“He’s got a soft tissue injury to the back of his hamstring and so we’ll assess him this week before discovering how long he’ll be out for.


“It’s a real negative note and had an effect on what we wanted to and how we wanted to play.”

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