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Martinez tired of tackle talk

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes it is time to move on from Callum McManaman’s horror tackle on Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara.

McManaman was not punished for the challenge during the March 17 Premier League clash because referee Mark Halsey did not fully see the incident.

The 21-year-old then escaped retrospective action because one of the officials had seen the tackle, but not deemed it a foul.

Martinez has continually defended McManaman from critics, insisting his player showed no malicious intent, and now wants to move on.

“I think we’ve been going on and on too much about it,” Martinez told reporters. “I think it was a football incident.

“We lost Ryo Miyaichi a couple of weeks back and he had to go through surgery and he’s out for the season. Those are incidents that happen in the game.

“I think we’re taking things out of context here. I think the whole incident has been a bit of an argument about the refereeing in the game.

“It was a challenge with no real intent. It was an unfortunate incident that happens on a football pitch. I think we’ve been talking too much about it and it’s a bit unfair on a young man to have to suffer that.”

The 39-year-old said he was nervous about how the Englishman would react to being thrown into the spotlight, but reassured fans that McManaman has responded well in training.

“I did have concerns straight away,” Martinez said. “Anyone would. All of a sudden you are the centre of a nationwide debate where you’ve done nothing wrong in terms of your intent.

“But Callum has been growing into the footballer he is now for the last four years. He’s had a very good development at the club.

“He’s been out on loan and I think he’s had enough experiences to know how to cope with anything the Premier League is going to throw at him.

“But, looking at the way he’s reacted in training, he’s a joy of a human being and I know he’ll become a stronger person after that.”

Thu 28 March, 2013
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