Martinez says players must repeat Man City display to achieve results
Roberto Martinez admitted to harbouring emotions reminiscent to those felt after defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season in the aftermath of Latics’ defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday night.
The better side for the majority of the game at the Etihad Stadium, Wigan Athletic couldn’t find the all-important goals to bring the much deserved rewards before Carlos Tevez hit home a late winner.
But reflecting on last season’s knock-on effect the Spaniard believes his players are once again determined to put disappointment behind them when they travel to Upton Park to face West Ham United on Saturday afternoon, saying:
“The feelings were very similar to the ones we had after our defeat at Stamford Bridge last season, when for very different reasons we didn’t get what we deserved on the day.
“Our performance that day was very good, but at the Etihad I thought we were more cultured and controlled in becoming the better side in everything we did.
“Last season the Chelsea game helped us develop a feeling that we wouldn’t allow those standards to drop for the rest of the season and that’s the aim for the rest of this campaign.
“We might not be able to control the result on certain occasions, but we can control the level of performance we show on the day.”
Saturday’s game will be the third in seven days for Latics, and despite making just two changes to the team on Wednesday Martinez says his team are still fighting fit and fresh, explaining:
“Whilst the result didn’t go our way on Wednesday, it’s been a very special week in terms of the performances we’ve produced against Millwall and Manchester City which have shown the moment of form we’re in.
“When you play in that manner you can cope with the physical demands really well, and apart from a few knocks and bruises the players have come through both games well.
“The players are all desperate for this game now, we had that feeling on Wednesday night that we did everything apart from getting the rewards we deserved.
“But I thought we were ground-breaking at the Etihad Stadium and found a new way of performing against an extremely strong side.
“To have those emotions after the game of not getting the result we deserved tells you a lot about how far we’ve come and what we’re capable of.
“There’s no denying that at this point in the season we need points, but if we continue to perform in that manner they will come.”
West Ham are on the back of a 2-2 draw against Manchester United on Wednesday evening, and Martinez is well aware of the task his players have of taking a result from Upton Park this weekend:
“West Ham are in a very good moment of form right now having not been beaten in their last four league games.
“We all know how competitive they are, particularly at Upton Park, and I think they’ve found stability in their line-up recently to put out a really settled side.
“Their midfield three complement each other really well, with Kevin Nolan, Momo Diame and Gary O’Neil all playing big roles.
“You then have the threats of Matt Jarvis on one side Ricardo Vaz Te on the other and Andy Carroll up front, so we know how dangerous they can be and we’ll have to be ready for them.
“It’s significant that they played on Wednesday, because it would have been very tough for us to play at Upton Park against a team who would have had extra time to prepare, but we’ve all been through similar demands and that will make for a well levelled game.
“The venue is a tough one to perform in and try to be yourself, but already this season we’ve played each other twice so we both have a good understanding of one another and I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting opportunity for us to get rid of the feelings we had on Wednesday.”