Martinez hails Latics' attitude

BY foxsports • December 18, 2011

A point against the Premier League title chasers was a well-deserved bonus for the Latics, but it was the positivity shown by his players that most pleased Martinez. Two weeks ago, Wigan slumped to a 4-0 defeat by Arsenal, meekly surrendering after conceding two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half. Martinez had been hugely disappointed by how easy Wigan made it for the Gunners that day, but it could not have been more different on Saturday. Wigan restricted Chelsea to very few opportunities and, when they did allow Daniel Sturridge to open the scoring, they redoubled their efforts and got their reward two minutes from time as Jordi Gomez made it 1-1. Martinez said: "I said before to the players that sometimes you need to control the mental side of games. If you concede against a top side, then you accept it. "Against Arsenal I felt we were excellent for 20 minutes and then we conceded one goal and all of a sudden we just gave the game away. That was disappointing. "(Yesterday) we concentrated on our performance. It didn't matter if we were playing against one of the best teams of the league in the best moment of their season, or we were playing against a bottom side, the concentration was excellent. "Tactically we coped with Chelsea with flying colours and credit to the players. That attitude of 'never give up and carry on believing' was the big difference. "You have to learn from the previous experiences and, for a young squad like ours, it was really pleasing." Having been all but written off after eight losses in a row, Wigan have turned things around, picking up eight points from their last five games to move to within one point of safety. Martinez's decision to play with five at the back yesterday paid handsome dividends, but the Spaniard was keen for his players to take all the plaudits. He said: "The credit is for the players. I always said the way we wanted to play, and it doesn't matter if we are Wigan and we are a team that are expected to get relegated every season, we have to be a team that is tactically aware, we have to think on the pitch, be flexible. "All these things you need to show against the top sides, because they use the space really well. You look at a player like (Juan) Mata, who moves around the pitch like not many other players and makes things very difficult. "Chelsea are very flexible. It's very difficult to predict how they're going to play but I felt we stopped the service to the main players and played with a real belief." The result was a blow to Chelsea, who were looking to build on last Monday's victory over Premier League leaders Manchester City and win four league games in a row for the first time under Andre Villas-Boas. The Portuguese played down the impact of the result, though, and turned his thoughts to maximising their remaining December fixtures. Thursday's trip to Tottenham will be followed by home clashes against Fulham and Aston Villa, and Villas-Boas said: "We are on a good run of confidence at the moment and that is not affected. "We have to continue to look to the December fixtures and try to get as many points as possible. We have a difficult game against Tottenham. It's an exciting game, two title challengers, and then we have the two home fixtures."

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