Dons boss fuming over 'gamechanging' decision that went Wigan Athletic's way

MK Dons boss Russell Martin felt his side were denied a stonewall penalty which was a 'gamechanger' in Wigan Athletic's 3-0 victory at the DW.

Sunday, 7th March 2021, 10:21 am
Funso Ojo in action against MK Dons

Despite Latics being in total control right from the off, and leading through George Johnston's 23rd-minute header, Martin was furious his side were denied a spot-kick moments before half-time.

The visitors were claiming for a handball in the Wigan box that went unpunished by referee Anthony Backhouse, who elected to go back and award a free-kick for an earlier foul, that came to nothing.

Callum Lang and Joe Dodoo scored second-half goals that underlined Wigan's superiority, but Martin believes his side were hard done-by.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"It was a big moment, and it is a penalty...everyone can see that, their bench, our bench, the players on the pitch," he said.

"He doesn't give it, and sometimes they go for you and sometimes they don't.

"That's not an excuse why we lost the game 3-0.

"But if he gives us that one, it is a game-changer, it is a big decision.

"We've been on the wrong end of a few of those recently, and when things are going against you they do tend not to go your way."

Martin also held up his hands and took full responsibility for the defeat, which saw him make a double substitution on the half-hour, such was the home side's dominance.

"It's my fault, I picked the wrong team from the start," he added.

"I picked players who hadn't trained enough, and that meant we weren't able to compete enough in the first half and hour.

"I take full responsibility for that, because there was some really good stuff in that, which is obviously tainted by the scoreline and not being able to defend our box properly.

"We had a warning sign early on, which was nothing to do with style of play, before they scored.

"After that we make the changes, and look really good, we're camped in their half for 15 minutes either side of half-time.

"It's very difficult playing against loads of bodies camped behind the ball, but we didn't make enough or wave after wave of attacking.

"They've thrown bodies in the way, we've hit the woodwork twice, and then we concede a second goal to a guy who is free in our box.

"Then we're chasing the game, but they've got the wind in their sails, they're on the front foot and we end up giving a third goal away.

"It's not good enough, we're conceding far too many goals, especially from crosses, and we have to sort that out and show a bit of character."

Get 20% off our sports subscription package and stay up to date with all the latest Wigan Athletic news with a year’s subscription to WiganToday for less than 9p a day. Use promo code TRANSFER20