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LADS PASS CHARACTER TEST

Posted on 26 November 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol felt the lads showed real character to come from behind to beat Wigan Athletic 3-1 in the Barclays Premiership on Sunday.

Martin Jol felt the lads showed real character to come from behind to beat Wigan Athletic 3-1 in the Barclays Premiership on Sunday.

In-form Wigan took the lead via Henri Camara's volley after 25 minutes and, in truth, we looked a little flat until two moments of magic inside a minute completely changed the complexion of the game.

First, the equaliser from Jermain Defoe, who received a pass from Dimitar Berbatov, turned Emmerson Boyce inside out and then drilled home with his left foot.

Seconds later and Benoit Assou-Ekotto released Berbatov down the left - the striker had plenty to do but headed straight for goal, nutmegged Matt Jackson and curled into the top corner for 2-1 at the break.

We created a few half-chances in the second half - Robbie Keane came closest - but the win was sealed when Berbatov cut back for Aaron Lennon to stroke home from 10 yards.

"Wigan isn't a team you really want to come up against after playing Sunday and Thursday but our character shone through," reflected Martin.

"They were five matches unbeaten, should have beaten Villa last week and play in a style that is very difficult to defend against. They put the ball in the mix and they have four or five players who are good in the air, normally it's one or two.

"If you allow them to cross the ball, they are always capable of scoring and we didn't pressurise them when they scored the first goal.

"We knew it would be difficult from then but we had weapons of our own - Jermain Defoe scored out of nothing and then Dimitar Berbatov, another great goal, that's the quality we have.

"This was a game we needed to win to push on in the league but we want to win every game.

"We are in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup, have nine points in our group in the UEFA Cup, had a good win against Wigan and now it's one defeat in 14 matches. So we can be pretty satisfied."