RONNIE Stam suffered a suspected fractured leg as Wigan Athletic’s survival hopes suffered a massive blow with a home defeat to Swansea.
Latics wasted their game in hand on their relegation rivals after failing to build on twice going ahead through Roger Espinoza and James McCarthy.
And they may well have to win both of their remaining games – at Arsenal and at home to Aston Villa – to preserve their top-flight stay into a ninth campaign.
The night was summed up by the injury to Stam, who appeared as a late substitute and was crocked in his first tackle, which meant Latics had to finish the game with 10 men.
“It’s a tough result to take, because we were well in control in the first half,” acknowledged Martinez.
“We took a deserved lead into half-time, but we have to concede that the players we have missing in defensive positions affected us too much.
“There are moments you need to be strong, there are moments you need to be solid and you have to be able to get through five-minute periods and calm things down when required.”
James McArthur couldn’t take a great opportunity to make it 3-1 after McCarthy had restored Wigan’s lead.
And the home side paid the penalty when a mistake from skipper Gary Caldwell allowed the Swans a second equaliser through Itay Shechter, before Dwight Tiendalli won it late on.
“We managed to get back in front, and there was a critical moment in the game when we had a chance to get a third goal and that two-goal cushion would have been vital,” added Martinez.
“We couldn’t get away from that feeling that we had something to lose, and the most experienced player we had on the pitch makes a bad decision and that was a true reflection of how we were all feeling.
“From that point on, nothing went right, and it was very difficult for us to come back.
“It’s a feeling the players don’t deserve, because once again they gave everything and more.
“But there are six points left to fight for, and we need to make sure we get rid of this feeling as quickly as possible.
“The gap is still only three points – and it’s something that we have to address as quickly as possible.”
Martinez fears defender Ronnie Stam broke his leg in last night’s game.
“We will check Ronnie tomorrow, but it seems it is a broken leg,” said Martinez.
“He couldn’t put any weight on it, so he will need a scan tomorrow to find out exactly what it is.”
Martinez also confirmed the hamstring strain that kept Jean Beausejour out of the game is also virtually certain to end his season.
“Jean has a tear in his right leg,” said Martinez.
“It will be difficult for him to be back before the season ends.”