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May 7, 2013

Martinez: Wigan can avoid drop

A defiant Roberto Martinez insists Wigan can still survive in the Premier League and will not "throw in the towel" despite losing 3-2 at home to Swansea to leave them three points from safety with two games remaining.

Athletic have beaten the drop for the last seven years, including twice on the final day of the season, and manager Martinez is adamant his side are capable of staying up.

"We have done it before and we can do it again," he said. "We can go to any place in the Premier League and get the points. We have never given up or thrown in the towel as a football club and we will not do it now."

The FA Cup finalists visit Arsenal on May 14 before finishing their season with a home game against Aston Villa.

And after claiming three points at the Emirates Stadium in the relegation run-in last season, Martinez believes they are capable of securing a repeat. "Last year we got a very important victory," he added.

But the Spaniard stopped short of saying Wigan will need to win both of their remaining games to avoid a drop into the Championship.

He said: "We need to finish the season with as many points as we can. There are still many twists and turns. Anything can happen. There are six points [to play for] and the FA Cup final should prepare us mentally and emotionally for the finish to the campaign."

Martinez felt Wigan's defensive injuries were a major reason for their defeat to his former club, for whom Angel Rangel, Itay Shechter and Dwight Tiendalli scored.

Centre-backs Antolin Alcaraz, Maynor Figueroa and Ivan Ramis are all sidelined, along with left-wing back Jean Beausejour while right-back Ronnie Stam suffered a suspected broken leg after coming on as a substitute.

"The many injuries we have at the back showed tonight," Martinez said. "When you concede such goals in a soft manner then it is hard to recover. We shot ourselves in the foot. The second goal is a bad decision."

"The problem is the amount of games in a short period of time. The back four that played today is something you haven't seen all season. That is down to us losing so many important players but that's what happens in a season and you need to cope with it."

Martinez believes that Chile international Beausejour, who was injured in Saturday's win at West Brom, is unlikely to be fit again this season.

He added: "Jean Beausejour has a tear in his right leg in the quads and it will be very difficult for him to be back."

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