Opinion: Back on team Bobby

Last updated : 27 March 2012 By Paul Farrington

The character on display from Roberto Martinez’s men since the Swansea game has been special. I was firmly of the opinion that the Swansea game was the culmination of a disappointing reign for Martinez as manager of Wigan Athletic and further highlighted his naivety as a young football manager.

Anybody worth their salt should have arranged suitable preparation well in advance for his international travelling superstars, and Sunday afternoon following a bad result is not the time to bemoan circumstances.

Added to a history of other bad/miss-judged decisions and the guns came out for the manager who was seemingly taking the short term future of the club down a division.

Strong performances against Norwich and West Brom yielded only two points but the continued upturn in displays continued against Liverpool at the weekend meaning the Latics have now managed five points from their last three matches.

When Luis Suarez equalised for Liverpool early in the second half on Saturday a lesser team would have crumbled. Instead the Latics stood strong and managed to grab a winner.

It is this character and team-work which has been so evident over the past three games that makes you proud to be a Wigan Athletic supporter.

The result marks a terrific and historical achievement for the Latics but the result cannot be too highly celebrated.

There is still plenty of work to do, and as was pointed out to me (by an arm-chair Manchester United supporter) this week, the Latics still haven’t beaten a top six team away from home in the Premier League.

With games against Chelsea and Arsenal away, and Manchester United at home coming up, Saturday’s fixture with Stoke takes on an added importance.

We’re on the crest of a wave at the minute and Stoke could well have their heads turned by their safe league position and the distractions of other competitions.

A victory over Stoke City on Saturday, followed by a victory in each of the four final games of the season (Newcastle, Fulham, Blackburn, and Wolves) would put the Latics on 40 points and surely safety. If only it were that simple.

Post Swansea I was amongst the crowd calling for the manager's head. Whilst I was never against Martinez long term, I just couldn't see how he was gonig to get us out of our short term situation. Since that awful Swans display we have been a different team and judging Martinez solely on this we look like a team capable of surviving. There is just the small question of Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal in the coming weeks.

Put me back on team Bobby please and chalk Swansea down as another of his naive miss-judgements. I really hope he can lead us to safety once more.

Martinez 2