Southampton v Wigan reaction

Franco Di Santo’s classy strike and a late Arouna Kone effort

helped the Latics secure their first points of the season –

something that had looked unlikely early on.

Southampton began brightly, and captain Adam Lallana saw an

early long-range effort tipped onto the bar by Athletic goalkeeper

Ali Al-Habsi.

Jos Hooiveld also hit the bar late on but Wigan made the most of

the goalkeeper’s saves and Saints’ weak-looking defence to rack up

their first points of the season.

“I think to say I am pleased would be an understatement,”

Martinez said.

“I am very, very satisfied because we knew how difficult it

would be and I thought the first half an hour showed that.

“When you come to a newly-promoted side like Southampton with an

incredible feeling and momentum from the last two season, we knew

we would have to cope with that in the first half an hour.

“I don’t think the Southampton players should be disappointed at

all. I thought they put us in a position where we had to defend and

needed Ali Al-Habsi to be at his best.

“But from then on I think we used our experience from last

season when we went to [promoted] Swansea at the Liberty Stadium

and had a similar experience.

“We started to keep the ball well, we opened up a few good

opportunities and then to score two goals from open play away from

home is always tremendous.

“That with a clean sheet in the opening home game of

Southampton’s season is a real achievement that my players deserve

a lot of recognition for.”

It was the first ever league meeting between Southampton and

Wigan, who brought in summer signing Kone in place of Victor Moses

after completing his move to Chelsea last night.

The Ivory Coast international did not disappoint in his first

start for the club and netted late on, but Martinez was keen to

focus on the team performance rather than individuals.

“I think we need to remember today that the performance was one

of those where you need everyone, not just the XI that were on the

pitch,” he said.

“The three subs that came on had clear instructions that they

had to pick up the tempo of the game.

“I think it would be unfair to single out one player. I think

the whole team took massive responsibility after losing Victor

Moses.

“Victor Moses leaves with our blessing. He has done everything

he could to help our football club and with that he helped his

career.

“He arrived aged 19 and you get really attached to him, but I

think this group of players are desperate to fulfil his

responsibility and his boots.

“There are a few players that are desperate to take that role

and we’ve obviously got three games in this busy week.

“You’re going to see a lot of players given an opportunity to

show what we can do and that is a competitive edge we have in this

group.”

Southampton came into the game buoyed by last weekend’s

impressive performance at champions Manchester City, who had to

come from behind to win 3-2.

However, Saints failed to replicate that performance at St

Mary’s today as they fell to defeat – much to manager Nigel Adkins’

disappointment.

“We were after the three points today,” he said. “Obviously we

started brightly, we’ve had some good opportunities.

“The goalkeeper has made some good saves. We’ve hit the bar on a

couple of occasions.

“I think it just highlights how ruthless the Premier League

is.

“Wigan haven’t really had that many opportunities but they’ve

gone and scored.

“The first goal has gone and changed there complexion of the

game and obviously as we’re endeavouring to get a goal back I

changed the formation to one we were very good at last year.

“But it just highlights that the 4-4-2 allowed Wigan a spell of

10 minutes when they had far too much possession of the

football.

“There was a lot of positives to take from it in terms of the

opportunities we did create, but ultimately we were looking for the

three points today.”