Martinez wants Alcaraz to learn

The Paraguay international was suspended by the Football

Association after spitting at Wolves’ Richard Stearman in Latics’

last Premier League game on November 6. Alcaraz explained that he

was attempting to spit on the ground beside Christophe Berra, with

whom he was arguing, but caught Stearman by accident. Martinez has

also pointed to other mitigating factors but both accepted the

incident was inexcusable and did not contest the FA charge.

Martinez said: “It was a very unfortunate incident. “It is a bit of

a cultural clash as well. “We know he has learnt his lessons, he

has apologised for it. “He was very unfortunate because it was in

the heat of the moment, with the importance of the game at that

stage. He felt he was provoked. “His reaction is something you

cannot condone but it has different connotations back in his

homeland. “What is very disrespectful here is not disrespectful in

other countries and the other way round. “That was a very

unfortunate incident that he didn’t mean to happen the way it

happened. “But it is easier to just accept that, learn from it and

just move on in a professional manner. I think he did that.”

Alcaraz’s ban will begin as bottom side Wigan face fellow

strugglers Blackburn in a crunch encounter at the DW Stadium on

Saturday. Latics have just five points after losing their last

eight games in succession. Martinez said: “It is not good for us to

look back. “Obviously we are going to miss Antolin for three games

and we need to accept it. That is what happens in football. “We

need to find the solutions to cope with injuries, to cope with

suspensions. “Obviously Antolin is desperate to help the team,

especially in this situation we are in, so he is going to suffer a

lot more not being on the pitch. “It has been that sort of moment –

everything that could go wrong did go wrong. “Now is the moment to

change it completely and make sure that we stop this negative

momentum.” Achieving results on Saturday and in next week’s trip to

Sunderland are now Martinez’s top priorities. With games against

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United in December,

Latics have a tough run ahead. Two key players in Hugo Rodallega

and Mohamed Diame are out of contract next summer but, while

discussions over new deals are ongoing, the club see the coming

matches as more pressing. Martinez said: “It is so important to get

the right result on Saturday and in the next games. “We are on top

of it and will carry on trying to finalise agreements but the

important thing now is a result for Wigan Athletic. “All individual

cases are going to be treated further down the line.”