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Martinez to ignore table after draw with Stoke

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez feels there is still little that can be concluded from the current standings in the Premier League.

Martinez's struggling side let a precious lead slip against Stoke at the DW Stadium yesterday, but the 1-1 draw still moved them up to 14th -- a point and two places further away from the drop zone -- thanks to other results.

The Latics had looked on course for victory after Paul Scharner nodded in Charles N'Zogbia's 14th-minute free-kick, but Tuncay Sanli's header 16 minutes from time ensured the match finished all square in Lancashire.

Despite lifting them higher in the table, the result meant Wigan have won only once in 10 league ties and are just three points above the drop zone.

But Martinez preferred to focus on the team's performance, which he felt gave cause for encouragement.

"I'm not looking at the table now," Martinez said. "It's such a tight table that you could be in 11th position and feeling that you have got a bit of breathing space, but if you drop your standards you could get punished.

"I feel that there were many positives but, on the other side, there are many things that we need to do better.

"I can see many good things that we did at Sunderland (in their previous match) and we followed it up, so I'm pleased with that.

"If we carry on with that level of performance in the last third of the campaign, we will get the rewards."

Stoke's Ricardo Fuller, who was arrested at the weekend over an incident in a nightclub, came off the bench after an hour and played a part in the build-up to Tuncay's equaliser.

Two minutes later he teed up Mamady Sidibe to head against the bar, and Potters boss Tony Pulis praised the Jamaican for his performance after a difficult couple of days.

"He's smashing, Ric's all right," Pulis said. "We're hoping that what happened over the weekend, the lad will come forward and drop charges and Ric can get on with playing football, which he does very, very well."

Pulis was also happy with Tuncay's lively display, and that of the ever-impressive Matthew Etherington, who delivered the cross for the Turkey forward's equaliser.

"Tunny could have scored four goals," said Pulis. "He is a terrific player."


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