Hart breaker for Martinez

Wigan Athletic v Manchester City: James McCarthy after his shot, probably Wigan's best chance, was saved by Joe Hart
Wigan Athletic v Manchester City: James McCarthy after his shot, probably Wigan's best chance, was saved by Joe Hart

ROBERTO Martinez admitted Latics only had themselves to blame for not taking points off top dogs Manchester City last night.

After gifting City their half-time lead through Edin Dzeko, the home side threw everything bar the kitchen sink at City after the break.

But Latics couldn’t quite find the moment of magic required to unlock a determined rearguard.

And when James McCarthy did see the whites of Joe Hart’s eyes, the England goalkeeper pulled off a tremendous save at the three-quarter mark to secure the Sky man-of-the-match honours.

All that left Martinez a very frustrated figure as he assessed the damage.

“I have mixed feelings about the game,” said the Wigan boss.

“In the first half we worked hard, we defended well, but we weren’t ourselves with the ball.

“There was a little bit of anxiety there, which the crowd picked up on, and that was very evident in our play.

“In the second half we adapted well, and we found a little bit of momentum.

“We were on the front foot for the most part and that gave us a real competitive edge.

“We knew we’d get chances in the final quarter, and James was very unlucky not to score with his shot.

“Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get the break that would have given us a deserved point.

“But if we can find a way to play for 90 minutes with the intensity we had at the end, we are capable of winning games.”

The winning goal came after Antolin Alcaraz was penalised for an innocuous foul down the City left, and David Silva crossed for Dzeko to guide home a free header past Ali Al Habsi.

“It was a soft goal to concede,” acknowledged Martinez.

“I thought the initial decision was very soft, and the way we defended the set-piece showed us to be lacking in concentration – and that has really cost us.

“Without playing well, Manchester City found it difficult to break us down, and we just couldn’t find the goal that we feel we deserve.

“We finished strongly, but just couldn’t find that one little bit of quality and composure in the final third that would have got us a goal.”

That said, Martinez believes there were plenty of positives to be taken into Saturday’s crunch clash at QPR.

“It’s not easy to play against Manchester City when the scoreline is against you,” he added.

“But I felt we were calm, composed and I was pleased with the way we reacted.

“We pride ourselves with how we are in possession as well as off the ball, and unfortunately we weren’t as good as we can be in both areas.

“The reality is we came up against a top team, but it’s good to be critical and it’s the only way we are going to improve.”