Roberto Martinez focused on positives

 

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez will not allow yesterday's Old Trafford horror show to obscure what has been an excellent month for his side.

Such is the strength of feeling at Wigan over Connor Sammon's first-half dismissal against Manchester United that an appeal is virtually certain.

That would be heard before the weekend trip to Stoke when Martinez will hope to consign the 5-0 defeat to the dustbin after an otherwise outstanding month that brought successive away wins, in addition to home draws against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Indeed, to get through such an arduous run of games ahead of both Blackburn and Bolton is some kind of achievement in itself and gives Martinez hope Wigan will again successfully complete their quest to avoid relegation.

"It has been a really good period for us," said the Wigan boss.

"The performance against Liverpool was outstanding, and against Chelsea, we were better than them in every department apart from the scoreline.

"I am not going to take the United game into consideration, other than the fact we have shown great character.

"You could easily lose your composure when you are losing at Old Trafford, you have 10 men and decisions are going against you."

As they were already trailing when Sammon was harshly dismissed by referee Phil Dowd for catching Michael Carrick in the face with his elbow, it is unlikely Wigan would have ended a run of what is now 14 successive defeats against their north-west neighbours.

It certainly contributed to the final scoreline though, as did an incorrect decision to rule Antolin Alcaraz had fouled Park Ji-sung inside the area, bringing the penalty that allowed Dimitar Berbatov to complete his hat-trick.

"It shows we have the character to achieve our aims," said Martinez of his side's battling qualities.

"In my eyes, the last three games have been a real success and December has been a very good month for us."

PA

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