Lopez and McCarthy injuries add to disappointment after Norwich defeat
Roberto Martinez revealed that Adrian Lopez and James McCarthy are doubts for next weekend’s home match against Arsenal, after picking up injuries in the 2-1 defeat at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon.
McCarthy went off at half-time after picking up an ankle injury mid-way through the opening half and Lopez looked to pull a hamstring towards the end of the game.
The news compounded a disappointing day for Wigan Athletic who, after a tough first-half, looked to be on their way to taking something from the game after Shaun Maloney’s second-half equaliser before Wes Hoolahan scored the decisive goal shortly past the hour-mark.
He said: “We are disappointed with the first-half performance, didn’t get to grips with the game and gave a really soft goal away early on.
“It wasn’t anywhere near good enough but the reaction is what pleased me the most. After the break we showed real intent, started to be ourselves and scored an outstanding goal from open play.
“At that point we had the momentum and if anything looked as though we could get a winner but the disappointment once again was the conceding of another soft goal, giving the smallest player on the field a free header inside the box. Conceding goals like that make it very difficult to get anything from games and we need to improve upon it.
“Having said that, I thought Ali was outstanding and back to his normal self again. We had him to thank in the first-half for keeping us in the game and giving us the opportunity to get back on level terms.
“I saw real desire and flashes of quality in the second-half and created more great chances to take a result in the closing stages.
“We have a Christmas programme of games we have to look forward to now and improve on what we’ve seen today.”
Looking at the injury crisis that continues to hamper the squad, Martinez said the club needs to find the strength from adversity and fight to respond in the coming weeks:
“We don’t want to look at excuses but having so many players unavailable, and senior players at that, is affecting us too much at the moment.
“It’s a situation I’ve never seen before: Adrian Lopez picked up a nasty hamstring injury and James McCarthy was involved in one of the most infuriating incidents of the game having been targeted by the opposition and picking up a nasty ankle injury as a result.
“I doubt James will make the Arsenal game next weekend and we’ll have to assess Adrian in the week but he’s a doubt as well.
“Now is a moment that we need to get together as a club and face this adversity to make sure we find a response.
“Having eight players missing is a real challenge for any club but we need to show now our typical togetherness and that feeling only we can create at the club.”