Norwich City gave us what we expected – Martinez
Roberto Martinez praised Norwich City for sticking to their beliefs after the Canaries pegged his side back at the DW Stadium.
The Spainard watched City extensively during the club's pre-season build-up and Martinez felt the Latics failed to get to grips with Norwich's attacking sense of adventure.
'Overall I feel although we had the better chances, Norwich always caused a threat from their set-plays and probably a draw was the fair result,' he said. 'I don't think we played as well as we can. You have to give Norwich credit. They came with a huge winning mentality and great energy, as you would expect.
'They didn't change one single bit from what they were doing last season in the Championship. They leave many bodies forward. Their offensive balance is very, very brave and they took their chance really well. I just feel as a team the game didn't pan out too well for us.'
Martinez felt the early injury blow to defender Adrian Lopez, who needed treatment for fully 15 minutes following a clash of heads with Steve Morison, upset the Latics' rhythm.
'In every game you play you sense an opportunity for three points, but in many ways this fixture was always going to be a tricky one,' he said. 'It's the wrong time of the season to play a newly-promoted side; they're full of energy, bravery and it's fair to say that Norwich City played their game very well.
'From our point-of-view we went through a spell of around 10 minutes playing with just 10 men, with Adrian Lopez receiving treatment for a head injury. However, we found a solution and took a well-deserved lead. Then, just before half-time, a couple of mistakes led to Norwich scoring their equaliser, which sometimes happens in games.
- 1 Revealed: Why wasps chase you and how to get rid of them this summer
- 2 Anger as 'rollercoaster' appears at bottom of woman's garden
- 3 Six fire crews battle large field blaze in south Norfolk
- 4 Film crews for Paramount crime series to visit ANOTHER Norfolk village
- 5 Here's when parents can get complimentary tickets to BeWILDerwood
- 6 Corrections made to prices at Yarmouth's new leisure centre
- 7 Come and meet the animals you could adopt at RSPCA open day
- 8 Woman stabbed in neck and arm in city park
- 9 Behind the scenes at Britain's most dilapidated hospital
- 10 Drought declared in Norfolk
'With that in mind I was very happy with the players' reaction following the goal, keeping a cool head and keeping a clean-sheet in the second 45 minutes, something we perhaps may not have been able to do last season.'
Martinez believes his men could have nicked all three points following a stirring finish when Ben Watson hammered a long-range strike against the foot of John Ruddy's right-hand post and Ritchie De Laet launched himself in front of Victor Moses' goalbound strike.
'It's easy sometimes after losing a lead to start doing the wrong things and leaving yourself exposed, but we didn't do that after Norwich equalised; instead we finished the game really well and in the last 10 minutes were the stronger side,' said Martinez. 'So there are many things that will need correcting, but I can see a very solid foundation for a winning team.
'It's important in these opening games that you avoid defeat and work towards polishing things off; as a team I feel we can play a lot better and we all know that. There were certain individuals who had great roles and when we had to fight against Norwich we stuck together and did that. We still have a small squad and to meet the demands of the Premier League we'll need to add at least two more players which we'll do.'
Martinez confirmed in his post-match press conference he is interested in recruiting West Brom's striker Peter Odemwingie, but backed frontman Franco Di Santo to play a big part this season. The former Chelsea youngster harried De Laet into the first-half error that allowed Watson to rifle past Ruddy from the penalty spot.
'I thought Franco worked extremely hard for 50 minutes and produced one of his most effective performances in a Wigan Athletic shirt, which is a great sign,' he said. 'On a difficult day it's important to have fresh legs and new options; sometimes the bodies can suffer and in certain occasions not find that extra yard. Hugo (Rodallega) and Conor (Sammon) gave us a different approach and maybe on another day with a little luck they might have made the difference between one point and three.'