Roberto Martinez believes Wigan Athletic's run to the FA Cup semi-final has been the inspiration behind their recent revival in the Premier League. Arouna Kone's goal against Norwich means Wigan have now won five out of their last six games in both competitions and three out of four in the league.
They face Queen's Park Rangers next weekend before a cup semi-final against Millwall at Wembley, for which they will be favourites.
"I know from the outside the table always is the exciting thing but for us it's the points tally; 30 points is not enough to stay in this league, unfortunately," Martinez said. "We've got eight games left. It's a very good moment in terms of the performances that we're putting together now. The competition for places is the highest that we've had in the last four years. Every game left now is a significant one. And then we've got the nice distraction of playing at Wembley. It's a very important time for the fans [and] a proud one for the club."
Martinez has told his young midfielder Callum McManaman to learn from Kone after his sixth goal in as many games. McManaman, 21, made all the headlines in the build-up to the game as the fallout from his knee-high tackle on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara two weeks ago rolls on, but it was Kone who stole the show at the DW Stadium.
"What he's doing with us now shows he's a man that's ready to pass influence to our youngsters," Martinez said. "And I hope that Callum McManaman and the youngsters at the club can learn a lot from Arouna."
Goal: Wigan Athletic Kone 81. Substitutions: Wigan Athletic McArthur 6 (McManaman, 66), Di Santo (Kone, 90). Norwich City Holt (Kamara, 80), Becchio (Hoolahan, 85), Tettey (Howson, 85). Booked: Wigan Athletic Scharner. Norwich City E Bennett, Holt. Man of the match Kone. Match rating 5/10. Possession: Wigan 45%. Norwich City 55%. Attempts on target: Wigan 6. Norwich City 5. Referee H Webb (S Yorks). Attendance 17,784
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