Martinez praises fans and players

Joyous scenes as Shaun Maloney scores the only goal of the game
Joyous scenes as Shaun Maloney scores the only goal of the game

ROBERTO Martinez reckons Wigan Athletic’s historic victory over Manchester United was worth ‘more than three points’.

Latics finally beat the Old Trafford outfit at the 15th time of asking, Shaun Maloney’s majestic second-half strike the difference between the two sides.

And it was no more than Wigan deserved, after Victor Moses had seen a first-half effort disallowed by Phil Dowd for reasons known only to himself and his linesman.

The victory takes Latics out of the bottom three with just five matches remaining, and Martinez believes his men can finish the job and extend their top-flight adventure into an eighth campaign.

“It wasn’t the fact that we beat the champions - it was more the manner of how we did it,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“We managed to restrict them to just one shot on target and three corners.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the way we played and the manner of our performance.

“Sometimes it’s not about winning, it’s how you win.

“And everyone connected with Wigan Athletic can be really proud of the way their team played.

“It’s a great three points - but it’s worth much more than three points.”

It was the perfect way for Latics to bounce back after being, in Martinez’s words, ‘robbed’ of at least a point at Chelsea last weekend.

“It would have been easy for us to have felt sorry for ourselves after what happened last weekend, but if anything we improved our levels of performance,” the gaffer added.

“We dominated the game, we won seven corners, we had a perfectly good goal disallowed and we defended magnificently.

“I got a real enjoyment from watching us play tonight, and I trust our fans did as well.

“The fans really got behind the players from the first whistle.

“For any club in our position, it would have been easy for them to have lost patience at times this season.

“But our fans are quite unique in that respect, and we are as proud of our fans as they are of the team.”

The boss reserved special praise for Maloney, whose goal was right out of the top-drawer.

“It was always going to take a goal of real quality to win the game, and that’s exactly what happened,” Martinez recognised.

“Shaun’s a special player, and special players can score special goals.”

BLOB Wigan chairman Dave Whelan insists Martinez will be at the club ‘into next year and beyond’ after internet reports suggested the pair might part company at the end of the season.

But - as exclusively revealed yesterday - Martinez is staying put, Whelan revealing: “Roberto has a rolling contract and will definitely be here next year. No question about that.”