Samm sweet

Manchester United v Wigan Athletic: The dismissed Conor Sammon head for the tunnel
Manchester United v Wigan Athletic: The dismissed Conor Sammon head for the tunnel

ROBERTO Martinez says he’ll be happy to ‘draw a line’ under the red card rumpus involving Conor Sammon after the big striker was cleared to face Stoke tomorrow afternoon.

Sammon and Latics were celebrating last night after the striker’s controversial sending-off at Manchester United on Boxing Day was rescinded and his three-match suspension quashed. An FA regulatory hearing commission ruled referee Phil Dowd had been incorrect in red-carding Sammon for his coming together with United’s Michael Carrick six minutes before the interval at Old Trafford, a decision that drew widespread condemnation from commentators, pundits, players and managers alike.

Of course, the FA were powerless to do anything about United’s 5-0 victory over the 10 men, but Latics were at least spared of the added injustice of missing the big Dubliner for the next three matches.

“We thank the panel for their decision, which is the correct one,” said Martinez.

“We now need to draw a line under the matter and move on. I am delighted to have Conor available for the next three matches. It would have been unfair for him to share the frustrating feeling that he had on Monday for another three games after doing nothing wrong.”

Meanwhile, Martinez has confirmed Latics could dip into the January market for a couple of new players – although they will not stray from their transfer targets.

Wigan are currently sitting in the Premier League relegation zone and Martinez admits areas of his squad need strengthening as they look to sidestep the drop this season. Out-of-favour Manchester United striker Federico Macheda is one name who has been linked with a move to the DW, with Wigan thought to be interested in signing the Italian on loan. The gaffer says he has some targets in mind but, if they prove unattainable, he has not ruled out drawing on Wigan’s youth resources.

“We’ve got a very good idea of what’s needed and we could do with a couple of new players in certain positions. We’ll work hard for that,” he added.

“But if it doesn’t happen because we cannot get the players that we want, I’m quite happy to use the youth and the development squad that we’ve got at the club and make sure we have a very strong second half of the season.”