Cut out the errors, Martinez tells refs

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The Independent Football

Roberto Martinez advocates the use of video technology in football, but feels referees could still get more decisions right without it. Wigan's normally mild-mannered manager yesterday launched a scathing attack on the standard of refereeing in the Premier League, claiming some errors are devaluing the competition.

He is still annoyed that Tottenham's opening goal in their 3-0 win at the DW Stadium last weekend was allowed to stand. The goalscorer Jermain Defoe was in a clear offside position when he received the ball and Martinez claims cameras were not needed to spot it.

"If it had been a close call you would say we would need to have the debate," the Spaniard said. "But in that decision there is no need for video technology. You have got a player that is two yards offside. The linesman should have a clear view of the player and the ball.

"I cannot explain how the best league in the world has got people that can get those decisions wrong. It devalues the Premier League in a way. When you are looking at it from abroad, I think it is laughable. It is the best league in the world, you cannot get decisions like that wrong."

The loss to Spurs left Wigan just two points above the relegation zone ahead of tomorrow's trip to Birmingham.The Latics have not won for seven games and only twice in three months, but Martinez feels recent bad decisions are indicative of his team's luck. "There is nothing we can do, we just hope we can change and have a little more luck," he added. "You hope you are going to get these sort of bad decisions going your way throughout the campaign, but I can't remember having these sort of decisions."

Martinez is at least pleased to have seen the back of the DW Stadium's current pitch. The notoriously bad surface, which is shared with the Super League rugby side Wigan Warriors, is to be relaid in time for Wigan's next home game against Liverpool on Monday week.

Martinez said: "There is a rugby game on Friday [tonight] and then after that the new turf is going to be laid down. It should be in perfect condition for the visit of Liverpool.

"The home games are vital between now and the end of the season, so we hope we have left behind the issues of the pitch and all the negative talk. We hope to look forward to the last third of the campaign with a new pitch and a fantastic squad."

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