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Wigan boss Martinz defends Al Habsi after horror own-goal

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has excused goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi for his disastrous own-goal in the 3-2 win over Reading on the weekend.

The Oman international spilled a high deflected ball from Hal Robson-Kanu in the 79th minute which spun through his gloves, onto the crossbar and bounced in off his back at a wet DW Stadium.

The goal allowed the Royals to level at 2-2 after their earlier lead but Jordi Gomez spared Al Habsi's blushes by completing his hat-trick in injury time to give the Latics a much-needed victory and Martinez preferred not to lay blame on his keeper for the equaliser.

"Even after a rare mistake from Ali, you could see the players were not prepared to settle for a point and fought back for him," he told the club's official website.

"We have Ali to thank for so much during his time at Wigan Athletic, and when this situation occurs it's great to see the rest of the dressing room rally round for him, and don't forget that he did produce the save of the game (from Adam Le Fondre's header) moments earlier to keep his team in the match."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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