Martinez hopeful over Beausejour injury and picks out positives from match
Roberto Martinez admitted his frustration, but drew on the positives after twice seeing his team pegged back by Stoke City despite their dominating performance.
Shaun Maloney and Franco Di Santo were both on the scoresheet for Latics, but the visitors responded through strikes from Jonathan Walters and Peter Crouch to share the spoils from a thoroughly entertaining afternoon at the DW Stadium.
Afterwards Martinez said:
“It was a frustrating outcome because of the manner in which we started the game, and perhaps we needed that two-goal cushion.
“The first goal arrived at the right time after hard work to earn it, and then the injury to Jean Beausejour and the equaliser brought about that frustration.
“Up to that point Stoke’s performance didn’t affect us at all, but when you score a goal from very little as we know Stoke can we struggled to move the ball as well as we can and therefore opened up spaces around the pitch.
“The second goal is as good a goal as you’ll see anywhere in the Premier League and a great example of how to perform your duties defensively, before linking up with your strike performer and show real composure in the final third.
“It was a goal worthy of collecting three points, and after it we had to try and cope with Stoke physicality which we couldn’t quite do.
“After what we saw in the final stages a point is a positive result and we’ll make sure to learn from the overall performance.”
At the other end of the pitch the home defence and Ali Al Habsi had to be on alert to prevent Tony Pulis’ side from stealing a late winner, and the Gaffer was full of praise for his goalkeeper:
“Ali showed some tremendous goalkeeping and to be fair some of the saves he produces don’t surprise us anymore because we know the standards he has.
“He had to be at his best to help us get a positive result today knowing that he was going to be tested by a Stoke team who are unbeaten this season.”
One big disappointment from the afternoon was the injury to hamstring injury suffered by Jean Beausejour which forced the Chilean international off the pitch and changed the dynamics of the game.
Despite not being a big fan of the forthcoming international break, Martinez admitted it will help with the midfielder’s recovery:
“Any injury is a serious one but perhaps the international break will work to our advantage from that point of view and give us plenty of time to assess him before the game against Manchester United.
“Other than that I don’t like these international weeks so soon into the new season because they interrupt the rhythm you’re trying to find and you’re giving your players to third parties hoping they return injury-free.”