Football - Martinez cool over Bale impact

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is not losing any sleep over how to stop Gareth Bale.

PA Sport

It has been a task beyond most Premier League defences and there must have been a point two or three weeks ago when Martinez wondered whether he would have to give any thought to it as Bale was laid low by an ankle injury.

Unfortunately for Wigan, the brilliant Welshman recovered in time to face Manchester City last weekend, and scored his 18th league goal of the season as Spurs rallied to win 3-1.

That came 24 hours after Martinez had seen key defender Antolin Alcaraz limp out of his own side's defeat at West Ham with a hamstring injury that will keep the Paraguayan on the sidelines for three weeks.

It was not the news Martinez needed ahead of a crucial phase of his side's relegation fight.

But the Latics chief does not see any point worrying about it.

"Tottenham can only play with 11. They can't play with 13 or 14," he said.

"If Gareth Bale didn't play it would just be someone else and their squad is of the highest level, so it is not as if it would be substantially easier for us if he wasn't there.

"We all agree Bale is one of the best players in world football. He will always bring an extra threat.

"But if you want to beat a team like Spurs, with Gareth Bale or not, you need a very good level of performance."

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