Martinez says injury to defender casts shadow over positive afternoon at Fulham
Roberto Martinez expects Ivan Ramis to be out of action for a lengthy spell after the Spaniard was stretchered off in Latics’ 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.
Franco Di Santo’s fourth goal of the season made sure the visitors picked up a result from Fulham for the first time in five visits to the Capital, but a suspected cruciate ligament injury to Ramis has overshadowed a positive day according to Martinez:
“However, the positives have been shaded by the bad news of Ivan Ramis’ injury which is a real blow after his magnificent display.
“Until we get the results of the scan we can’t be too sure but it looks long term and an injury to the ligaments in his right knee.
“It’s difficult news to take because he doesn’t deserve it after the performance he gave and the season he’s had.”
Analysing the match, the gaffer was pleased with the performance of his players and the character shown to pull back from a goal down to claim a point that lifts them out of the relegation zone.
Giorgos Karagounis opened the scoring in the first-half with Fulham’s only real effort on goal on what was a fairly quiet afternoon for Ali Al Habsi.
Shaun Maloney saw a shot palmed onto the bar by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer before Di Santo’s thunderbolt from the edge of the area, and although a draw was well received Martinez said there was a hint of disappointment that the second-half domination could not yield a winning goal:
“We started the game really well, carrying threat going forwards but conceded a goal against the run of play during a spell when Fulham had their only real spell of danger.
“But we reacted very well after that, working hard off the ball to restrict the home side to one effort at goal which led to the goal and another at the death which Maynor Figueroa cleared off the line.
“From that aspect we’re perhaps disappointed that we didn’t take all three points;
Franco’s goal came from a magnificent passage of football with a goalkeeper who was at his best today having produced a great save to deny Shaun Maloney earlier.
“It was going to take something special to beat Mark Schwarzer and Franco produced a fine strike to make sure we took a result.
“His hard work and generosity deserved that reward which was reflected in the rest of the players.
“I thought we had a great balance in the team throughout the game and produced a talented performance with character – highlighted by Maynor’s clearance.”