Martinez: Confidence restored

Roberto Martinez at Sunderland
Roberto Martinez at Sunderland

ROBERTO Martinez wants the 2-1 victory at Sunderland to be ‘a defining moment’ in Wigan Athletic’s campaign.

Latics ended a run of 10 matches without a win in some style, Franco di Santo grabbing the winner deep into stoppage time after Jordi Gomez had equalised Seb Larsson’s opening goal.

Martinez’s men remain in the bottom three but, crucially, now within touching distance of safety.

And, although they face a daunting-looking December programme, the confidence levels have been restored significantly following the recent upturn.

“I feel this can be a defining moment in our season. It has to be,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“Last week against Blackburn I thought was a real turning point in terms of the way we performed, and if you look at the two points we dropped you see where that would put us in the table.

“Today, we simply carried on where we left off last week.

“It was a completely different type of performance, but we showed a real maturity to know what to do to win the game.

“The season for us started last week and the competition for places we have now should give us the belief and the desire to move on from this.”

The victory was all the more impressive given it was achieved without a contribution from Hugo Rodallega, who remained on the bench throughout.

The Colombian has endured an indifferent campaign while uncertainty over his future – he is out of contract at the end of the season – continues to fill the gossip columns.

However, Rodallega has reiterated his determination to put talks over a new contract to one side as he works on rediscovering the form that made him the club’s all-time record Premier League goalscorer.

The likes of Juventus, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are all said to be weighing up a January raid for Rodallega.

But he said: “At the moment I can think only about Wigan.

“I know the club wants me to stay but there is still plenty of time for us to talk.

“There are many rumours about my future but I am focused on saving Wigan.

“The Premier League is the best in the world. I came here to triumph, not fail.”