Martinez hopes West Ham win can be springboard for coming months
Roberto Martinez reflected on Latics’ first home win of the season on Saturday afternoon, praising the work of his players both on and off the ball throughout the 2-1 win over West Ham United.
Ivan Ramis and James McArthur were the goalscorers, opening up a two-goal cushion that James Tomkins’ stoppage time header could not overcome, and afterwards Martinez spoke of how finally his team were able to get the points their performance deserved.
He said: “We want to be perfect in every game and conceding the goal at the death is perhaps the only sour note and would be ultra-critical to focus too much on it.
“I thought from start to finish we showed very good levels; we knew one goal would not be enough to win the game and that the two-goal cushion was vital.
“This was the case against Stoke City and Everton when we couldn’t get the points our performance deserved, but on Saturday we attacked with real meaning and that was very pleasing.
“We had flashes of possession which was as good as we’ve seen this season, but what also pleased me was the way we handled their threat and pressure in our defensive third.
“We kept the ball well under pressure and controlled the game, which against this West Ham side who are in form is a great achievement.”
Ramis opened his club account against the Hammers in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, and struck a blow to Sam Allardyce’s team once again – a perfectly executed volley from Jean Beausejour’s corner on eight minutes.
The Gaffer praised the strike and the manner at which the Spanish defender has settled into life at Wigan Athletic since arriving in the summer from Real Mallorca.
“His contact with the ball was perfect,” said Martinez, “as clean a strike as you’ll see and he obviously enjoys scoring against West Ham.
“He’s a leader, someone who is in the best moment of his career who has come here focussed on being successful and his communication with the rest of the team is getting stronger by the day.
“When he’s enjoying his football like he did against West Ham he can be the complete defender and we’re looking forward to seeing him doing so for the next few season.”
James McArthur made sure his team’s dominance in the game was reflected in the score-line, scoring the second of the afternoon, and the eventual winning goal, just two minutes into the second-half.
Martinez reckoned it was a deserved reward for the hard work of both McArthur and James McCarthy throughout the 90 minutes.
He said: “I thought James McArthur and James McCarthy got forward well all afternoon and were a real threat to the West Ham defence.
“The timing of James’ run for his goal made the play an impossible one to stop and he took an important opportunity very well.
“To score goals from open play is very pleasing, but everything we did on and off the ball was of the highest level.”
Finally, having got off the mark at the DW Stadium Martinez hopes the win, which moves Latics into 15th place in the Barclays Premier League, can be the springboard they need for the season that follows, explaining:
“Before the game we knew there had been too many ups and downs in recent weeks, interrupted by international breaks which only brought instability to the group.
“Now we have a very good block of games ahead without distractions, the only real distraction is a welcome one in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night against Bradford City.
“So we can look forward to developing that competition we have for places in the team, growing our standards and getting the fans behind us to see how far we can go.”