Wigan boss Roberto Martinez blasts Norwich City’s Bradley Johnson over James McCarthy injury

Bradley Johnson is booked by referee Lee Probert following a clash with Wigan's James McCarthy. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Bradley Johnson is booked by referee Lee Probert following a clash with Wigan's James McCarthy. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Monday, December 17, 2012
1:13 PM

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was highly critical of Bradley Johnson’s role in the injury exit of his influential midfielder James McCarthy. The Republic of Ireland international could now miss the first part of Wigan’s festive programme with ankle ligament damage after a heavy challenge that earned the City man a yellow card.

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“It was a disappointing moment. Believe me, it was a nasty challenge, it was a challenge or an incident off the ball,” said Martinez.

“James McCarthy picked up a very nasty injury on his ankle. The referee saw it and he gave him a yellow card. There is not much else he could have done but it was one of those actions you don’t want to see.

“We all know James McCarthy, he is in a great moment of form, he scored two goals in the previous game and they took him out of the game and that was very, very disappointing. It is the ankle ligament – the external ligament – we will X-ray it in the next 24 hours and find out. We’ll get the results from the scan very shortly but I doubt if he’s available for the next 10 days. I doubt it very much.”

Adrian Lopez also finished the match on a stretcher with a suspected hamstring injury, but Martinez insists it is too easy to attribute Wigan’s recent downturn solely to a lengthening list of absentees.

“You need to cope with injuries and you need to cope with suspensions,” he said. “At the moment we have four centre-halves, probably our most senior centre-halves, out injured and today it showed.

“The two goals we conceded were soft and that is disappointing. The reason, clearly, is the amount of players we’ve got missing and it’s not an excuse.

“When you’ve got one or two players missing it can become an excuse, you’ve got a larger squad, but when you’ve got six players plus the two injuries we picked up today you’re talking about facing games at this level with eight players missing.

“It becomes tough for the players, but we can’t perform in the manner we did in the first half, feeling sorry for ourselves and looking like a team without real desire and I’m glad the second half was the opposite of that. It will set us up nicely for the next game against Arsenal at home.”

Martinez was upset by the manner of his side’s first half capitulation at Carrow Road.

The Spaniard felt the Latics’ gifted Norwich the win that kept his strugglers mired in the Premier League relegation zone after a fifth league defeat in seven.

“It looked in the first half like we were feeling sorry about ourselves because we had six injuries and they are senior, important players in the squad and we played with that fear – we need to be brave, we need to be arrogant on the ball and I think we showed that in the second half, but not in the first,” he said.

“I do feel that our first-half performance wasn’t good enough or anywhere near an acceptable level. We had Ali Al Habsi, our goalkeeper, to thank just to keep us in the game.

“It was two very different faces from our performance. I thought in the first half we weren’t anywhere near our level. Our start was sluggish, pedestrian, we never got to grips with what we had to do in the game. We were very, very poor.”

Martinez made a double substitution at the interval, which paid almost immediate dividends, when Shaun Maloney rifled the visitors back on level terms before Wes Hoolahan’s headed winner just beyond the hour mark.

“Our disappointment is that the smallest man on the pitch gets a free header in the six-yard box and it’s very difficult to win football games when you concede goals as soft as we did today,” said Martinez.

“But on the balance of the game I would say that on our second-half performance, we merited something out of the game. But it was a self-inflicted defeat. In football what matters is the reaction and how you accept the responsibility for your performance and I think we did that as a team in the second half.

“In the worst possible moment, I think it would have been all too easy for Norwich to get on the ball and dominate the game – and it was far from that.

“They couldn’t do that, they found it very, very difficult and I thought the reaction in the second half showed the character we’ve got in our dressing room and we stopped feeling sorry (for ourselves).”

14 comments

  • How many candidates left in the frame for "Premiership Young Gentleman Manager of the Year"? (PYGMY). Hoots, Laudrup, Steve Clark, Moyes, Brian McDermott. Pulis will walk it - NOT!

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Stone throwing and living in glass houses comes to mind. The blatant late and off the ball body checking is ok is it Mr Martinez? Eventualy ref Probarrt did book one Wigan player and a goal came from one where he played on, but should havr gone back and booked him. Wigan looked anotehr poorside that we failed to bury. Amazing how managers try to deflect their own short comings by blaming others

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    Pondlife

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • So, was it "a challenge or an incident off the ball", Mr. Martinez? You seem a tad unsure. Last season Wenger & one of his prima donnas falsely accused BJ of a stamping. Were apologies ever proffered? According to the Beeb`s reporting of Snr. Martinez this morning, City were "ruthless", McCarthy was "targeted" and we "got away with it". The list of worthy "Gentleman Managers" in the Prem grows ever shorter. I think it`s down to Hoots, Laudrup, Moyes and Steve Clarke now. Except Hoots is "looking the innocent flower while being the Serpent under it"? The quiet assassin. The ruthless executioner. The Doctor Evil of Stratford East.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • I put it down to continental mentality a la Wenger, though there is the exception to the rule with a certain Mr Pulis! As i have said elsewhere I reckon the ref is kicking himself that he allowed the advantage in the build up to our second goal! OTBC

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    Jakarta Canary

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • The tackling was too hard. The goals were too soft. Large bowl of sour grapes for Mr. Martinez please Delia....

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Very disappointing comments from Mr Martinez. In my eyes, James McCarthy spent the whole of the little time he was on the field trying to influence the referee in regards to bookings....and what did he say to Bradley to get the push? There is no smoke without fire.

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    Ded Sterile

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • A shame to see Roberto Martinez joining the Tony Pulis School of Post-Match Whinging.

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    Swiss Canary

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • Very disappointing comments from Mr Martinez. In my eyes, James McCarthy spent the whole of the little time he was on the field trying to influence the referee in regards to bookings....and what did he say to Bradley to get the push? There is no smoke without fire.

    Report this comment

    Ded Sterile

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • And next week its Whinging Wenger versus Moaning Martinez ifn a Christmas relegation special. I am sure Matines will instruct his players to go easy on Walcott & Co

    Report this comment

    Pondlife

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • What a collection of spherical objects. McCarthy was not even touched, let alone targetted. He reacted twice on the ground, David Beckham was sent off for less in the World Cup, and then indulged in massive play-acting. Lee Probert was wrong to book Johnson. A better and more just outcome would have been for the ref to give McCarthy a good kicking while he was rolling around.

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

  • Pulis pulls it in my book.

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    Sian

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Or even Senor Martinez!

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    ScotCan

    Monday, December 17, 2012

  • It would be interesting to know who have the most bookings and sendings off this season? I believe the Rugby side is Wigan Warriors, Is the soccer team Wigan Wimps?

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    Pondlife

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • Delusional regarding the tackling and a fantasist regarding Wigan's second half performance. Grow up Senior Martinez.

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Monday, December 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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