Martinez wants critics to cut hat-trick hero Gomez some slack
18:55 GMT, 24 November 2012
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez hopes Jordi Gomez has answered his critics among the Latics fans after his hat-trick earned a much-needed three points against Reading.
The Spaniard was making only his third start of the season in the Barclays Premier League and was jeered early in the game for a few poor touches.
Eat that: Jordi Gomez left his critics eating humble pie with a hat-trick
WIGAN: Al Habsi, Boyce, Ramis (Lopez 48), Figueroa, Stam, McCarthy, Jones (McArthur 82), Beausejour, Gomez, Kone, Maloney (Si Santo 45). Subs not used: Pollitt, McManaman, Boselli, Fyvie.
Goals: Gomez 58, 68, 90+2
Booked: McCarthy, Jones
READING: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb (McCleary 72), McAnuff, Le Fondre, Roberts (Pogrebnyak 83). Subs not used: Taylor, Mariappa, Hunt, Harte, Cummings.
Goals: Morrison 35, Al Habsi 80 (og)
Referee: Howard Webb
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But he responded superbly with goals
in the 58th and 68th minutes to turn things around after Sean Morrison
had given Reading a 35th-minute lead.
The Royals looked to have snatched a
point with a major stroke of luck in the 80th minute when Wigan keeper
Ali Al Habsi dropped a wet and spinning ball against the bar that then
rebounded against him and went in.
But Gomez had the last word two
minutes into injury time to earn Wigan a 3-2 win that lifted them five
points clear of the relegation zone.
The midfielder is only the third
Latics player to score a Premier League hat-trick after Marcus Bent and
Henri Camara, and Martinez believes he has been treated unfairly by some
of the Wigan fans.
'The role Jordi had to play today was
as unfair as you're going to get,' said the Latics boss. 'Because he
missed the first two or three passes, all of a sudden the crowd let him
Diving in: Shaun Maloney (right) challenges Reading's Jobi McAnuff
'I've seen it so many times and it's
very difficult to compose yourself, and it would have been all too easy
for him to hide and look away from the challenge. But that's not Jordi
at all. Nobody deserved a hat-trick more today than him.
'It's not just the three goals, he always shows for the ball, he had another two great opportunities.
Heading for Reading: Morrison (top right) powers home the opening goal
'The crowd were too vocal against
him and I hope that today they realise that the only thing Jordi does is
give his life for Wigan Athletic and to win football games. I hope we
all realise that and he gets a bit of warmth the next time he's on the
In contrast, Al Habsi has been a huge
hit since joining Wigan from Bolton in the summer of 2010 and he had
made a brilliant flying save from Adam Le Fondre's header moments before
Rising high: Morrison (centre) gives Ali Al Habsi no chance
Going down: David Jones (top) clatters into Reading's Jay Tabb
Martinez was more than happy to
forgive his keeper, saying: 'Goalkeepers are exposed to that, they're
the last men, and it's just Ali doesn't do that, which is why you're so
'Minutes before he had the save of
the game. Internally as a team you should be there to help your
team-mate when he makes a bit of an error, which happens, it's a game of
errors and you need to be able to overcome whatever situation comes
'Today we showed that type of performance. In the first half we had a little bit of the feeling of something to lose.
It takes two to tango: James McCarthy (left) and Jason Roberts try to keep their balance
'We weren't sharp or as effective as
we can be, and to concede from a set-play and allow Ali to have a
mistake, I think it was more our approach and our mentality, and we need
to change that.
'But it was pleasing to see the
players found a reaction and a way to overcome that. To give that win to
the dressing room pleased Ali more than anyone.
'I think it's the time to thank him
for the amount of times he got the team out of difficult situations with
his outstanding performances.'
make mine a double: Jordi Gomez (right) dives to head home Wigan's second
To come away with nothing in such
circumstances was a real blow to Reading, who arrived in the north west
on the back of their first Premier League victory of the season against
Everton last weekend.
Boss Brian McDermott was frustrated
they could not see out the game but felt his side should have had a
penalty for a foul by Maynor Figueroa on Jay Tabb when the score was
'I thought we deserved a point, and I thought it was the least we were going to get,' said McDermott.
Bald truth: Brian McDermott (left) felt Reading were worth a point against Roberto Martiniez's (right) side
'I think if the referee had given the
penalty on Jay Tabb we would have gone on to win the game. Someone of
Howard Webb's experience and quality, you would have expected him to get
that one right.
'When you're 2-2 in the 92nd minute
and we've got the ball, you've got to make sure you see the game out. If
you have to take a point in this league then take it and move on.
'We have to learn quickly from that.
We've seen out the last couple of games really well but unfortunately we
haven't seen this one out.'
Jordi joy: Gomez (right) celebrates with James McArthur after completing his hat-trick