Roberto Martinez insists Wigan Athletic will not give up on their hopes of Premier League survival after Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat to Swansea City at the DW Stadium.
In a reverse of Saturday’s game at The Hawthorns, Latics twice took the lead but were pegged back before Dwight Tiendalli’s goal gave the visitors the points, delivering a real blow to the team’s survival chances.
But Martinez said that although the result was tough to take, with just three points separating them and the teams above them, they’re not about to ‘throw the towel in’ now, explaining:
"There was a real feeling of expectation after our recent run of late at home.
"Even tonight, 2-1 up, we are a team that usually grows in confidence, but we couldn't do that.
"It's a tough result to take, because we were well in control in the first-half.
"We took a deserved lead into half-time, but we have to concede that the players we have missing in defensive positions affected us too much today.
"There are moments you need to be strong, there are moments you need to be solid and you have to be able to get through five-minute periods and calm things down when required.
"We managed to get back in front, and there was a critical moment in the game when we had a chance to get a third goal and that two-goal cushion would have been vital.
"But we couldn't get away from that feeling that we had something to lose, and the most experienced player we had on the pitch makes a bad decision and that was a true reflection of how we were all feeling.
"From that point on, nothing went right, and it was very difficult for us to come back.
"However, the gap is still only three points and it's something that we have to address.
"There are six points left to fight for and we need to make sure we get rid of this feeling as quickly as possible.
“We’re not going to throw the towel in now; we’ve never done it before and we won’t be doing it now.
“We’ve got an incredible achievement to be excited about this weekend in the FA Cup Final and we have to look forward to that now, try to create even more history for our club and use it as a springboard for the final games of our season – nothing is over yet.”
To add to the Spaniard’s ever-mounting injury problems, Ronnie Stam lasted barely 60 seconds after coming off the bench in the second-half, following a collision which left the Dutchman with what could be a fractured leg. Martinez said:
"It's too early to tell how serious the injury is and he needs a scan, but he couldn't put any weight on it at the end and we fear there is a fracture.”