Defensive show delights Latics boss

Wigan Athletic

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was thrilled to keep a clean sheet against Reading on Saturday but has warned his team to do it more often.

The Latics have established their reputation under Martinez for a fluid passing game, however, the Spaniard believes the lack of a harder edge has proved costly this season.

Wigan have had just four Premier League shutouts so far this term – remarkably all of them have come away from home – with the latest a 3-0 win against the Royals pulling them out of the bottom three.

Reading had taken 10 points from the past 15 on offer but failed to get a shot on target as Arouna Kone’s double added to a rare Maynor Figueroa strike banked the points.

While delighted to grab a first league win of 2013, Martinez was keener still to stress the importance of his side’s defensive display as they look to beat the drop yet again.

Martinez said: “I would say defensively it was as good as it gets.

“Defensively you know you are going to play against a Reading side that are strong, especially in the dead-ball situations. We dealt with that really well.

“We have to keep improving but to keep a clean sheet away from home, especially at the Madejski Stadium, is pleasing. Since they’ve changed tactically they have become a very difficult side to restrict.

“So that clean sheet pleases me as much as any defensive display this season. We have to make sure we replicate this level until the end of the season.”