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GAFFER BEAMS AFTER FIRST WIN OF SEASON

25 August 2012

Martinez praises players and fans alike after Southampton victory

Roberto Martinez praised the efforts of his players after they sealed the first win of the season away to Southampton on Saturday afternoon.


Goals from Franco Di Santo and Arouna Kone settled the game and capped off a fine all-round performance, which left the Gaffer extremely happy:


“I’m extremely proud of the team because we were coming to play a team who have a real winning feeling after two consecutive promotions,” said Martinez.


“We drew on the experiences of playing Swansea early on last season and Blackpool the season before, knowing that these games are much more than tactical and technical battles.


“The momentum and enthusiasm in promoted sides is so difficult to face and in the first half-hour we saw exactly that as Southampton go the ball forward and put the defence under pressure.


“But we coped very well and were able to call on Ali (Al Habsi) when we needed to who produced some important saves.


“Slowly we imposed ourselves on the game scored two fantastic goals and kept a clean sheet which is important in so many ways at this early stage of the season.


“Then concentration and communication has to be there and then to produce two finishes of such quality rounded off a superb effort.”


Highlighted the goals, Martinez told how the efforts of his strike-pair paid dividends:


“Nobody deserved that feeling more than the two strikers for the work they put in knowing full well how much was expected of them at the start of the day.


“They’re clever players and clever players always find a way to play to new systems and overcome new roles.


“Their work-rate and ethic gets them into these dangerous positions and once they were there they produced such clinical finishes.


“Arouna’s is as difficult an opportunity as you’re going to find with so much time to think about what you’re going to do in a 1v1 situation away from home in a full stadium, but he showed his composure to kill the game.


“Franco worked his socks off as usual but was able to round off a quality move after a lovely Shaun Maloney through ball with such a clinical finish.”


Finally there was praise for the travelling army of Latics fans who by the end were shouting the loudest inside St. Mary’s:


“The fans were incredible. Before the game I told the boys we had to create a kind of siege mentality because we were going to be a minority in the stadium.


“But in truth our fans made more noise than Southampton’s and I can’t thank them enough for that because it inspired us and I hope they too can travel back to Wigan with a real feeling of satisfaction and pride, they deserve it.”


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