Calls to stay calm at Latics

Wigan Athletic Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson
Wigan Athletic Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson

THE rumpus caused by Antolin Alcaraz’s spit at Wolves on Sunday is symptomatic of the way it’s going for Wigan Athletic at the moment, according to chief executive Jonathan Jackson.

Alcaraz will miss Wigan’s next three matches after admitting an FA charge of spitting at an opponent – the last thing Latics needed after extending their losing streak to nine at Molineux.

And while not condoning Alcaraz’s actions in any way, shape or form, Jackson says the club now just have to stay united and focused as they aim to arrest their alarming slump.

“They say it never rains but it pours, and this latest thing was certainly something we could have done without,” Jackson told the Evening Post.

“But we just have to try and remain positive and hope we come out of it the other side.

“Whenever a club goes on a run like we’re on, it’s really difficult and really frustrating – it’s hard to see the end of it.

“The annoying thing is that we’ve been playing reasonably well, certainly over the last three games, and we’ve deserved far more than we’ve got.

“We can’t keep blaming it on bad luck, though. We have to start helping ourselves and taking our chances when they come along.

“It’s obviously been a frustrating time for everyone – and we share the fans’ frustrations.

“But I think now more than ever is the time to make sure we’re all together and pushing in the right direction.”

Latics are conducting their own internal disciplinary action against the Paraguayan, who looks set to be relieved of up to two weeks’ wages for his moment of madness.

And chairman Dave Whelan has pledged to back whatever punishment manager Roberto Martinez feels is appropriate.

“That sort of behaviour has no place in football. It has no place in society,” said Whelan.

“It is disgusting, a horrible thing to do and I was shocked.

“I will back whatever punishment the manager decides to impose. I cannot tolerate this sort of thing.”

In the meantime, Martinez has already been on the phone to Mick McCarthy to apologise on behalf of the club –a gesture that was appreciated by his Wolves counterpart.

“What happened was unacceptable, but I have spoken to Roberto and he apologised on behalf of the club,” said McCarthy.

“I don’t think that is indicative of Wigan, of Roberto or Dave Whelan. They are lovely people, a lovely club, and I think he (Alcaraz) has just made a mistake.

“I don’t know where it came from but he’s made a stupid mistake and got punished with a ban, and we all think that is right.”

The Wolves chief added: “Personally, I’d rather have a smack in the mouth than be spat upon.

“It’s the worst thing you can do to a fellow professional.”

Martinez last night met with several representatives from various supporters’ groups and Latics websites to field questions on the current state of affairs at the DW, both on and off the field.