Latics will probe Kirkland incident

BY foxsports • March 21, 2010

Saturday's Premier League match at the DW Stadium was halted by referee Mike Jones in the 53rd minute for Kirkland to receive treatment. Kirkland, with his back towards the Burnley fans amassed behind his goal in the second half, was seen rubbing the top of his head. Wearing a pained and quizzical expression, Kirkland's gaze was directed to the Clarets supporters as he attempted to seek out the perpetrator. Crucially for Wigan, Kirkland was uninjured and able to continue, producing a vital save in the dying stages moments prior to Hugo Rodallega heading home a last-gasp winner. Kirkland was not allowed to comment on the incident, but Wigan boss Roberto Martinez said: "We're trying to find out (what happened). "We think it was a coin. We're not too sure about it, but it's one of those events you don't want to see on a football pitch. "I was relieved and pleased Chris carried on in the game because can you imagine if he'd been carried off because someone threw a coin. "He then produced a key moment in the game when he saved late on from (David) Nugent." Asked whether he harboured any concerns over a potential Football Association inquiry, Martinez added: "You cannot take coins from the away fans. "What occurred is something the authorities need to look into, and something we don't want to see on a football pitch. It shouldn't be in modern football. "It's different if you allow someone to bring in a big stick, a flag or something that is not allowed." The incident overshadowed in part a desperate relegation battle that was high on endeavour, albeit lacking in real quality. That was until substitute Victor Moses cut his way in from the right wing in the third minute of stoppage time and curled a ball into the area for Rodallega to head home his ninth goal of the season. "When you saw (Brian) Jensen making three or four outstanding saves, and a clear penalty for James McCarthy that wasn't given, I wondered how we were going to get the goal," added Martinez. "But then we had a little bit of brilliance from a very talented young man, and a finish from a very talented striker. "In a very dramatic fashion we collected the three points the players deserved. "The way the players performed in the second half showed a maturity well beyond the age of the squad, and that pleased me more than anything." The Latics are now seven points clear of the relegation zone, yet Martinez knows he cannot relax just yet. "To get above 30 points at this stage of the season is fantastic," remarked Martinez. "But if we feel we've done our job then we're hugely mistaken. I feel it's going to go down to the wire, with seven clubs still involved. "There are going to be many twists and turns between now and the end of the season." Appreciably, Burnley boss Brian Laws was left "devastated", and now faces a desperate struggle to not only pick up his players ahead of another local derby at home to Blackburn next Sunday, but also to keep them in the top flight. "I sincerely believe I will have to pick up the players over the next few days," said Laws. "But they're human beings after all, and it's an emotional game. If you're not hurt by that then you're not human. "We're all going to be licking our wounds over the weekend, no question about it, and I'll be sulking as much as anybody else. "It will be a terrible weekend for me. However, I'll come in bright and breezy on Monday and we'll get going again, because that's what we have to do. "We have to lift ourselves up and prepare for a magnificent game against Blackburn. I can't wait." There is every chance the Kirkland incident is not the only moment of the game the FA may want to look at as Michael Duff appeared to plant a forearm in the face of Paul Scharner that was not spotted by Jones, or by Laws.

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