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By Tom Moore, at White Hart Lane
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes that Tottenham have what it takes to finish in the Champions League and should be challenging Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City for the title.
The Latics dealt Spurs a blow in their hopes by beating them by a goal to nil at White Hart Lane thanks to a goal from Ben Watson to leave them in fifth place, behind Everton on goal difference, but, despite this, the Spaniard believes the Lilywhites will be up there.
“In my eyes they will definitely be in the Champions League spots, and should be challenging for the title,” he said.
“They Won at Old Trafford, when you do that it’s clear the team are at an outstanding level.
“Today as a team, we were very very strong and very difficult to play against, I don’t think we should take any credit away from Wigan Athletic players.”
Martinez is aware of the quality that Spurs have and felt that the key to victory was stopping wingers Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.
“I know this team really really well,” he explained.
“You can see if you let them play it is very easy for them to get a real good momentum.
“They have got world class players in wide areas, we stopped their service well.”
Despite having a 1-0 lead and Tottenham barely threatening Martinez admitted that he was worried that the north Londoners would find the target late on to rescue a point.
“Spurs need very very little to score a goal when you’ve got players of quality they’ve got you need that second goal,” he added.
“I was getting a bit frustrated. We needed that second goal. The defensive play of the whole team was of the highest level today.”
The Lilywhites’ head coach Andre Villas-Boas came in for criticism for taking off Jermain Defoe and replacing him with Emmanuel Adebayor but Martinez had sympathy for the move.
“No, I can understand [why Villas-Boas took Defoe off],” Martinez said. “Every striker is different.
“Probably the aerial threat of Adebayor would be something [different for them and] we adapted really well.
“As long as you keep 10 outfield players on the pitch, all of them world class, [you will be dangerous].”