Roberto Martinez hit out at Wigan’s fans for jeering Jordi Gomez in the first half of his side’s 3-2 win over Reading on Saturday.
Spaniard Gomez was making just his third English Premier League start of the season and was taunted by his own fans early in the game after a string of poor touches and misplaced passes.
But the 27-year-old former Espanyol man responded in fine fashion with a second half hat-trick, including an injury time winner, and Martinez was delighted with his midfielder’s ability to bounce back from a difficult start to the game.
“The role Jordi played today was as unfair as you are going to get,” Martinez said.
“Because he missed the first two or three passes, all of a sudden the crowd let him know.
“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.
“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 pitch.”
Meanwhile, Reading manager Brian McDermott was left bitterly disappointed by the last-gasp loss but insisted his side should have had a penalty when the score was 1-1.
“I thought we deserved a point, and I thought it was the least we were going to get,” McDermott said.
“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.”