Roberto Martinez defends Callum McManaman: 'It was an unfortunate incident that happens'

Wigan manager defends his player over challenge on Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes Callum McManaman has been unfairly criticised for his challenge on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara.

Referee Mark Halsey missed the knee-high tackle during Wigan's 2-1 victory at the DW Stadium a fortnight ago and McManaman was not punished retrospectively because one of the officials had seen the incident.

McManaman, 21, was confronted by an angry Newcastle assistant boss John Carver at half-time and figures within football have queued up to condemn the tackle.

It was initially feared Haidara had suffered a serious injury but Newcastle have since confirmed he sustained only bad bruising and soft tissue damage, although no date has yet been set for his return.

Martinez said: "I think we've been going on and on too much about it. I think it was a football incident. We lost Ryo Miyaichi a couple of weeks back and he had to go through surgery and he's out for the season. Those are incidents that happen in the game.

"I think we're taking things out of context here. I think the whole incident has been a bit of an argument about the refereeing in the game. It was a challenge with no real intent. It was an unfortunate incident that happens on a football pitch.

"I think we've been talking too much about it and it's a bit unfair on a young man to have to suffer that."

There has been no official apology from Wigan but the two medical departments were in touch until it became clear Haidara was not seriously hurt, while McManaman also contacted the Newcastle player.

The striker has started Wigan's last two games, scoring in the FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton, but may miss Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Norwich because of an ankle problem.

Martinez admitted he was worried about how McManaman would cope with the furore around him but is now confident he will not be adversely affected.

The Wigan boss said: "I did have concerns straight away. Anyone would. All of a sudden you are the centre of a nationwide debate where you've done nothing wrong in terms of your intent. You've found yourself in that position.

"But Callum has been growing into the footballer he is now for the last four years so he hasn't been someone who all of a sudden appears.

"He's had a very good development at the club. He's been out on loan and I think he's had enough experiences to know how to cope with anything the Premier League is going to throw at him.

"But I did fear at the beginning because he's a young man. All he's doing is trying to keep his place, trying to enjoy his football, and, as a young Englishman who has an incredible future, I thought it was a bit too strong to swallow.

"But, looking at the way he's reacted in training, he's a joy of a human being and I know he'll become a stronger person after that."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map