Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has defended the DW Stadium pitch in the wake of Darren Bent's ankle injury and believes it provides a convenient excuse for visiting teams.
Bent is likely to miss the rest of the season after rupturing ankle ligaments in Saturday's goalless draw between Wigan and Aston Villa when he appeared to catch his studs in the turf. It is not the first time the Wigan pitch, which is shared by the rugby league club, has come in for criticism but Martinez does not think it is a major problem.
The Spaniard told Latics Player: "We want a really good pitch because we base our work on what we do with the ball, and the ball needs to roll well. But the pitch is becoming a bit of an excuse for other teams."
Martinez added: "I think the pitch is the same for both teams, you have to adapt to it. There's nothing we can do with the weather conditions we have and obviously it's difficult for the groundstaff.
"We're trying to do our best to correct it but I don't think the pitch is to blame for the injury to Darren Bent, it's just a very unfortunate incident.
"If you look at the records it's not a pitch that players get injured on much. Unfortunately we're going to see a player out for a long spell and that's something nobody wants to see."