Martinez focused on positives

Such is the strength of feeling at Wigan over Conor 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.”