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Martinez: Survival for Wigan would be like winning the title

By Football News



Wigan manager Roberto Martinez says that clinching Premier League survival would be like winning the title for his side.

Wigan twice came from behind to beat West Brom 3-2 at the Hawthorns, and after the game Martinez underlined what the result meant to his team.

 "We don’t escape," he said.

 "As a football club, we win the title every time we stay in the league and that’s a very different approach."

Martinez then went on to praise the spirit of his side, as second-half goals from James McArthur and Callum McManaman saw them seal the points after Gareth McAuley had found the net for West Brom.

Wigan had already come from behind in the first half, with Arouna Kone’s header cancelling out Shane Long’s opener.

 "Our performance was full of character," said Martinez.

 "We had a very slow start. To come back twice from behind, I couldn’t be prouder of the performance of the players.

 "[It] wasn’t the best performance that we’ve had but what pleased me is that we forced our win. That’s down to the character and the determination that the team has.

 "It would have been a big mistake today to try and sit back for a point. I’m pleased that the players showed incredible focus and concentration in the last ten minutes."

Martinez had reacted to McAuley’s goal by sending on Roman Golobart and McArthur, and the substitution proved inspired as the latter scored with his first touch of the ball to level the scores.

"James McArthur was the best player for us against Spurs," Martinez said.

"I knew that the game would need energy and would need a second injection of blood. He didn’t understand that before the game but his first touch changed the game completely."

Shaun Maloney, who set up both second half goals in another impressive display, also came in for praise from Martinez.

He added: "Shaun Maloney has been the most consistent player for us; he brings a real enjoyment in everything he does. He’s so clever the way he uses the space and he’s a real engine for us in everything we do going forward."

The only negative for Wigan was Jean Beausejour being carried off on a stretcher with a hamstring injury, and Martinez admitted that the situation did not look promising ahead of next week’s FA Cup final against Manchester City.

"Jean has pulled his hamstring so it doesn’t look great now," he said.

"These sort of injuries are usually ten days but we’ll see if we can get some magic hands on him."