'McManaman is not a malicious player' - Martinez defends Wigan youngster after Haidara horror tackle

The Latics boss believes that the midfielder was guilty of over-exuberance rather than malice after his poorly-timed challenge resulted in injury for the Newcastle full-back
Roberto Martinez says that Callum McManaman is guilty of over-exuberance rather than malice after the Wigan youngster's bad tackle on Newcastle left-back Massadio Haidara.

The 21-year-old sparked controversy with his high lunge at the French full-back, which went unpunished by the referee and saw Newcastle assistant manager John Carver sent off at half-time for trying to confront the Wigan man.

However, though acknowledging the severity of the tackle, Latics boss Martinez was quick to point to McManaman's youth and over-enthusiasm rather than malice for the tackle in their 2-1 victory over the Magpies.

"Remember this is Callum's full debut in the Premier League," Martinez told Sky Sports.

"I haven't seen the replay but I believe he touches the ball and then there is a bad challenge. But there is nothing malicious and he's not that sort of boy. 

"It's the normal enthusiasm you get from someone making their debut. The referee was in a great position and when he touched the ball contact is going to happen in football.

"I can't really say too much because I haven't seen the action but I can guarantee that Callum McManaman is full of talent and on his debut showed the type of enthusiasm you expect but he's not a malicious player or someone that you are going to see doing that on a football pitch.

"I think he wants to contact the player I don't know if he’s done it already but he will do that when you get an injury in that manner you don't want to leave any bad feeling on a football pitch."

Martinez was also keen to point to bad tackles that have left some of his own players with serious injuries, after Haidara sustained suspected knee-ligament damage from McManaman's challenge.

He added: "You have seen with our own players Ben Watson broke his leg, Ryo Miyaichi and so on that happens unfortunately but no intention or malicious to go into those incidents and if Callum hasn't apologised yet he will do so.

"We are a football club where these things are very important."