Football

Martinez clears Hugo of blame

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Wigan boss Roberto Martinez refused to blame Hugo Rodallega after a late penalty cost his side a vital win against Everton.

The relegation-threatened Latics looked on course for three much-needed Barclays Premier League points at the DW Stadium when Rodallega needlessly handballed at a corner. That allowed former Wigan defender Leighton Baines the opportunity to step up and smash an equaliser from the spot after 77 minutes.

Martinez said: "Hugo is devastated, as you can imagine. Those are incidents that happen. Prior to that he had made three great actions at corners, defending with great aggression. Hugo has won so many points for us and will carry on winning points for us. That is the nature of the game and we will support him."

Baines' strike prevented Wigan from climbing out of the relegation zone.

Latics finished strongly but found Tim Howard in fine form in a frantic closing period, the American producing four good saves.

Wigan now have just three matches to save their top-flight status, including one crucial encounter with fell strugglers West Ham in a fortnight's time.

Martinez said: "It is disappointing because we couldn't get the three points but we knew it was going to be a very difficult game.

"Everton showed the experience they have got and what a competitive side they are.

"I see it as another point. I don't think we could afford to lose today.

"Unfortunately is going to take the fight to the last week of the season but I think that is what we expected."

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Topics:
Football
Hugo Rodallega
Tim Howard
Premier League
Everton
Wigan Athletic
Leighton Baines

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