ROBERTO Martinez admitted the late sending-off of Antolin Alcaraz took away some of the gloss after his side’s emphatic Capital One Cup victory at Nottingham Forest.
Latics progressed into round three with a comfortable win, with all four goals fantastic in their own right.
After opening up a 3-0 lead by the interval through Mauro Boselli, Maynor Figueroa and Jordi Gomez, Latics withstood a Forest comeback to seal their safe passage thanks to Callum McManaman’s last-minute strike.
But Alcaraz’s late red card – for two bookable offences – means he’ll now miss Saturday’s Premier League clash against Stoke.
“I thought both of the yellow card decisions against Antolin were harsh,” Martinez told the Evening Post.
“When you go in 3-0 up at half-time, you are always going to get a reaction from the home side.
“They got a magnificent goal back from Simon Cox, and we were up against it when we went down to 10 men.
“Obviously Antolin will face a suspension now, but that is why we have a strong squad.
“We want to win every game we play in, and that means the players will be competitive from the first minute to the last.
“At this level you need to have a group of players who are ready to share the demands, and this game showed you that.”
Martinez followed through with his intention to ring the changes, and was rewarded with a magnificent performance across the board.
There was never any doubt Latics would fall at the first hurdle – as they had in both domestic cup competitions last term – and the boss reckons that is down to experience.
“I was pleased tonight because in the past we haven’t really shown we could be competitive having made so many changes,” he added.
“From the start it was a very professional performance – all the players wanted to show what they can do.
“And we showed real quality with the finishing. The goals were all clinical in their own way.
“Ronnie Stam’s ball in for the first goal was exceptional, while the strikes from Maynor and Jordi were of an outstanding standard.
“Then at the end, Ryo Miyaichi showed a very unselfish action to play in Callum, who showed us what a good finisher he already is.
“All in all there were some special signs for the future.”