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Martinez - Norwich City stuck to attacking principles

PUBLISHED: 11:56 15 August 2011

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez with Norwich City boss Paul Lambert in the background during their match at the DW Stadium. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez with Norwich City boss Paul Lambert in the background during their match at the DW Stadium. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

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Roberto Martinez praised Norwich for sticking to their beliefs after the Canaries pegged his side back at the DW Stadium.

The Spaniard watched City extensively during the club’s pre-season build-up and Martinez felt the Latics failed 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.

“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 left-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 ten 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 after this performance which is what really matters.

“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.”

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