Wigan players to refund fans

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The Independent Online

Wigan's players have offered to refund supporters who travelled to yesterday's 9-1 thrashing at Tottenham.

The Latics crashed to the second worst defeat in Barclays Premier League history as they conceded eight second-half goals at White Hart Lane.

Defender Mario Melchiot admits the result was embarrassing and, along with the rest of his well-paid team-mates, will pay away fans the cost of tickets.

Melchiot told the club's website, www.wiganlatics.co.uk: "We feel that as a group of players we badly let down our supporters yesterday, and this is a gesture we have to make and pay them back for their tremendous loyalty.

"There is not a lot else to say, just that as a group of professionals we were embarrassed by the way we performed, we feel it was below our standards and this is something we feel we owe to the fans.

"Now we have to draw a line under the game, focus completely on training this week and bounce back on Saturday.

"We are professionals, we will take it on the chin and move on but it's important that we do not take our supporters for granted."

Wigan return to action when they host Sunderland this weekend.

Wigan owner Dave Whelan has given his backing to manager Roberto Martinez following the hammering.

Martinez's side were also beaten 4-0 by bottom side Portsmouth last month but Whelan is convinced the Spaniard is the right man for the job. Whelan has even pointed the finger at former boss Steve Bruce for the team's frailties.

Whelan told Sky Sports News: "9-1 is a serious, serious defeat and we have got to get our heads up and I am sure Roberto will be working on the lads now to get them going again and get their heads back in the air and get some pride back in Wigan Athletic.

"He is Wigan's manager and I have complete faith in him and I know the supporters have.

"He has got a difficult time, he inherited a team that was a little bit weak on reserves when Steve left.

"Steve actually had a few dodgy signings just before he left Wigan and he has inherited those dodgy signings so I can't blame Roberto one iota.

"I am absolutely 100% behind Roberto, he's a great manager and he will pull this team around."

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