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Starlet combines with N'Zogbia to inspire Latics victory

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez was proud of his team’s performance in their 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion but refused to take all the credit for an inspired decision to introduce matchwinner Victor Moses as a half time substitute.

Speaking after the match Martinez told reporters he knew the match would be tough after the midweek draw against Liverpool and was happy they had prepared well for the visit of the Baggies.

“Today we all knew before the game it was going to be really tricky because you play three games in a week [and] the energy is not as it should be,” he said.

“You can see why they’ve [West Brom] got so many good results away from home, they were very well organised, very disciplined, they were playing for the counter attack and using Jerome Thomas’ pace and Peter Odemwingie.

“And you can see you’re going to play worst role in the game which is having the ball, trying to break a team down and then you allow the frustration to come up and in the first half I felt we had the players that they can play in that sort of role in short distances and small spaces.”

The game needed an injection of life and Martinez’s decision to introduce Moses proved crucial as the youngster scored the only goal of the game in the 70th minute.

“We wanted to play in a different manner," he added. "We needed Charles N’Zogbia and Victor Moses to use the transition of the game a little bit better.

"I’m really pleased with the concentration of the whole team because we had to play different roles but we had to be 100 per cent focussed on what we had to do.

"In a very tight game and to get the three points is extremely pleasing.

“Victor has had a couple of injuries at the start of the season which stopped his good start to the pre-season campaign.

“He had to bide his time, to grow in training but he’s a young man and he’s still adapting to what’s needed in the Premier League.

“Victor now is a very mature player, as you can see when he came on he was ready to help the team.

"I remember a friendly we played against Dundee United where he looked very sharp, then he had a couple of injuries but it’s great to see him ready, fighting and putting that competition in the squad that you need and that’s why I’m so pleased to have a player who relies on his raw talent, that is exciting to watch and he’s  going to grow and give a lot to Wigan Athletic.”

Moses stroked home his third goal for Wigan after excellent work from N’Zogbia who controlled a clearance from a West Brom free-kick and then ran at the defenders before sliding a pass into the former Palace star, who finished neatly but Martinez was quick to praise all aspects of his performance rather than just the finish.

“The way he worked was good, he was playing against a very experienced left-back so he knows when to pick the chance to go forward and give exceptional delivery and he did that side of the job,” he said.

“Many people will point out his finish, and rightly so, but I was so pleased with the way he kept the discipline and he just stopped West Brom from being a threat on that left hand side and that shows you the maturity he’s got at only 19.”

It was another composed performance from N’Zogbia, playing on the left, the right and behind lone frontman Hugo Rodallega. And the Wigan boss revealed he has been delighted with the Frenchman’s performances since the end of the transfer window put an end to all the speculation surrounding his future.

“I would say since the window closed we’ve seen Charles and every week I think he’s taken his level into a different level.

“Last season he was player of the season and it’s been his best campaign [this season] so far scoring seven goals and I feel physically, tactically and in terms of responsibility he’s taken his game into different level.

“We all know we agreed a fee [with Birmingham], I think Charles’ situation has been very public and some games he wasn’t involved with the team while the window was open and we’ve spoken about that enough.”

Captain Gary Caldwell was substituted in the 17th minute after pulling up with what appeared to be a thigh injury and Martinez confirmed that his central defender had come off as a precaution rather than a definite injury.

“I want to believe it was more precaution, he felt his thigh,” he told reporters.

“He’s never had soft tissue injury before so he doesn’t know if it’s a tear or not, he cramped up quite hardly so we hope it’s just precaution and there’s no tear. We’ll find out in the next six hours.”

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