Back blow for Crusat

Albert Crusat is helped off the pitch
Albert Crusat is helped off the pitch

A WORRYING back injury to Albert Crusat capped a miserable night for Wigan Athletic, who remain in the bottom three after a 4-1 home drubbing by Sunderland.

Latics completely dominated the opening half, yet went in behind after Craig Gardner smashed a 30-yard free-kick past Ali Al Habsi in stoppage-time.

James McClean made it two just after the restart and, although Latics pulled one back through Hugo Rodallega, further goals from Stephane Sessegnon and David Vaughan inside the final quarter ended any hopes of a home comeback.

Martinez admitted his side had been harshly punished for not making the most of their early dominance, although he was also livid at referee Mike Dean for his controversial free-kick award that led to the all-important opener.

“We knew we were going to face a Sunderland side who would put a lot of bodies behind the ball, and the first goal was always going to be important,” Martinez said.

“We started very brightly, we created some good chances, we hit the post on a couple of occasions, and that starts to breed a little bit of frustration.

“Then as we get to half-time, their free-kick is just non-existent, there was no foul, and it was so hard to take being behind from their first real shot on goal.

“It gave Sunderland exactly what they wanted – a lead to defend, having played only 48 hours previous.

“For us, it meant we had to take a few risks, and I feel that is reflected in the final scoreline.

“The overall feeling is one of frustration, because it could and should have been a completely different game.

“There is nothing we can do now though, apart from learn to be a little bit more patient in future.”

Crusat, in for Victor Moses, was enjoying a fine first half before he had to leave the field following a robust collision with Black Cats defender Gardner.

And the Latics chief admitted there is cause for concern ahead of a scan later today.

“We will assess Albert over the next 24 hours, but he couldn’t breathe when he came off so it is a worry,” added Martinez.

Meanwhile, Martinez has allowed young defender Roman Golobart to extend his loan spell at Inverness Caledonian Thistle until the end of the season.

The Spaniard has impressed during his time north of the border, and Martinez confirmed: “It is the perfect situation for Roman to continue his development in a competitive league such as the SPL.

“We will continue to monitor his progress, and look forward to welcoming him back in the summer as a much more experienced professional.”