Wigan Athletic vs. Swansea City  2 - 3

Article

Martinez defiant despite defeat

8 May 2013 02:48

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez still believes his team can escape relegation despite losing 3-2 at home to Swansea City on Tuesday.

The hosts led twice in the match at the DW Stadium, only for second-half goals from Itay Shechter and Dwight Tiendalli to secure victory for Swansea.

The result leaves Wigan 18th on the English Premier League table, three points from safety with two matches of the league season remaining.

"It is a difficult moment," Martinez said.

"We were so excited about the game and aware we had a unique opportunity in front of us against a team that hadn't won for a while.

"The many injuries we have at the back showed tonight; we played sloppy balls and made bad decisions. You can see the effort of the players but sometimes we made it difficult for us to be ourselves."

Martinez's team tackle Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium next Saturday and the Spaniard hopes the occasion will serve to lift his players before crucial matches away to Arsenal and at home to Aston Villa.

"Wembley will pick the players up," he said.

"Everyone is down but the occasion will get us ready. It will prepare us mentally and emotionally and we still have a fantastic opportunity to get six points."

"We missed an opportunity tonight but we have got incredible character and are determined to fight for every point. There are six points to fight for – we have to learn from this. We got a very good victory at Arsenal last season and we have to do exactly the same again. Six points would give us a real chance."

Adding to Wigan's woes is a potential broken leg suffered by defender Ronnie Stam shortly after his introduction as a late substitute.

"We will check Ronnie tomorrow, but it seems it is a broken leg," Martinez said.

"He couldn't put any weight on it, so he will need a scan tomorrow to find out exactly what it is."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup hailed his side's fighting spirit after they fought back to win the game.

"The reaction and the intensity my players showed in the second half was really great," Laudrup told Sky Sports.

"I think coming back twice in an away game to Wigan like this, I can be very, very pleased."

Article

Britton: Swansea won´t help Wigan

7 May 2013 16:08

Swansea midfielder Leon Britton says his club will be doing Wigan boss Roberto Martinez no favours at the DW Stadium on Tuesday.

Britton – who played with, and under Martinez at Swansea – will likely start against Wigan in the crucial Premier League clash.

Martinez's men, who have also qualified for Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester City, can climb out of the relegation zone with just two matches to play if they defeat the Welsh side.

Britton acknowledged the many links between the two clubs but also reiterated his club's desire to win as they look to notch a top-half finish in their second Premier League campaign.

"We have good links with Wigan, not just with the manager but also the assistant manager, the physio, the coaches, Jordi Gomez," Britton said.

"There are a lot of people there with links to Swansea so it would be strange if we got a result that dented their survival hopes. But we have to try to get a win."

Wigan - who won seven of their last nine top-flight matches last season to avoid relegation - might be about to embark on a similar run of form, after a 3-2 upset win at West Brom on Saturday.

"They've done it the last two or three seasons. I'm sure they'd rather go on a run at the start of the season instead of the last 10 games (though)," Britton said.

Swansea have dropped off the pace since winning the League Cup against Bradford in February and are without a win in their last seven Premier League fixtures.

Article

Laudrup wary of Wigan spirit

6 May 2013 17:07

Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup is expecting Wigan to give "everything they have" when the teams meet on Tuesday.

Roberto Martinez's side remain embroiled in a fight against relegation but are just two points short of safety following a 3-2 win over West Brom at the weekend.

And Laudrup is wary of the threat posed by a team who are desperate for points as they look to secure their top-flight status.

"It will be a very hard game, I know they have the cup final coming up on the weekend, but we are talking about a team fighting for their football life," he said.

"They will have been looking at the fixtures knowing they have two games left at home and they have Arsenal away.

"They know getting something out of the Arsenal game will be difficult. Roberto Martinez is like every manager, he will be looking at the numbers and he will want six points from their two home games and hope it is enough.

"They will come at us with everything they have."

Swansea won the first major trophy of their 101-year history with victory in the League Cup final in February and are already assured of a place in the Premier League next season.

But Laudrup insisted his team will not roll over for Wigan - even without the services of injured striker Michu.

"I will be putting out a strong team, Michu is injured so he cannot play but I will not be doing anyone any favours," he added.

"Everyone wants to win games. Before our match against Manchester City, I watched Hull play Cardiff. Cardiff had already won the league but they went for it 100 per cent and this is what the game is all about. Even if you are safe you cannot relax."

The Dane also claimed that the members of his squad who worked under Martinez during his time at Swansea need not show any sympathy to their former boss.

"They will not be down if we win," he said. "If we win they can still get to 41 points. They have three games to go and there are still plenty of teams that can go down."

Article

Martinez proud to reach 150-game milestone

6 May 2013 16:00

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez says he is filled with "immense pride" ahead of his 150th Premier League game as the club's manager.

The Spaniard was appointed as Steve Bruce's successor in 2009 and has since attracted plaudits for helping the club maintain their top-flight status despite a negligible transfer budget.

But, ahead of reaching the milestone when his team take on his former club Swansea on Tuesday, Martinez claimed he will only be happy with three points.

"I never really take much notice of landmarks but 150 games in the Premier League ... fills me with immense pride," he told the club's official website.

"This football club is an incredible place for me and always will be. I'm proud to reach that landmark but it's important we mark it with a good performance and three points."

Wigan continued their bid for survival with a 3-2 win over West Brom at the weekend, and the 39-year-old is eager for that run to continue against Michael Laudrup's men.

"It's certainly pleasing to see a real continuity in our performances," said Martinez. "The last four games have seen displays of the highest order and that's when you need to take three points.

"We are not viewing Tuesday's game simply as a chance to move out of the bottom three. Each week the table has its twists and turns so for me the only thing to focus on is the opportunity to add more points to our tally."

Wigan sit two points adrift of safety in 18th place.

Article

Premier League Preview: Wigan v Swansea

5 May 2013 12:29

Wigan can move out of the relegation zone when they take on Swansea in a crucial encounter at the DW Stadium.

Roberto Martinez's men are just two points adrift of

safety following their dramatic 3-2 win at West Brom on Saturday and, although

that gap will increase if Sunderland beat Stoke on Monday, they will pull out

of the drop zone with a victory by virtue of Newcastle's inferior goal

difference.

Focusing on the job in hand will be key for the hosts, who could well

be distracted by their upcoming FA Cup final with Manchester City. However, if they can harness the same spirit they displayed in the triumph at The

Hawthorns, they will be confident of a vital three points.

A win would also secure them consecutive wins against a

side that has won just once since their victory in the League Cup final back in

February.

That sole victory came against Wigan's

relegation rivals Newcastle, but Michael Laudrup's side were much-improved in

their 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Saturday and have now kept clean sheets in two of

their last three outings.

History is also on Swansea's side as Wigan have never

beaten the Welsh side in the Premier League and have amassed just four wins in

front of their home fans this term.

Pablo Hernandez and Michu were the scorers in Swansea's

2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium back in October, but past results are unlikely

to factor in the minds of Martinez's men, who are renowned for their

late-season heroics.

Callum McManaman could well be the danger man for the

hosts - the midfielder has netted twice in his last two games and provides them

with an extra attacking threat that is much needed at this stage of the

campaign.

However, one area where Wigan certainly struggle is at

the back, they have conceded the most goals at home of any team in the Premier

League.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25