McCarthy has been in good form for Wigan recently. CLINT HUGHES/AP/Press Association Images

Martinez angry over 'ruthless' treatment of James McCarthy

The Wigan manager suggested Norwich “targeted” the Irish international in Saturday’s game between the two sides.

ROBERTO MARTINEZ HAS accused Norwich City of targeting midfielder James McCarthy after Wigan’s 2-1 defeat at Carrow Road.

McCarthy has impressed for Wigan this season and scored twice in their previous match against QPR, which ended 2-2.

The Republic of Ireland international was forced off at half-time on Saturday after being fouled by Bradley Johnson, who was booked, earlier in the match.

“It was an infuriating moment and something you don’t want to see,” Martinez told BBC Sport. “Clearly he was targeted. They got away with it. You don’t want to see players injured in such a ruthless manner.

“James is an outstanding footballer and he’s in a great run of form. He scored two goals in the last game (against QPR).

“It was clearly a cynical challenge without the ball to be played for. The referee saw it, showed a yellow card and I don’t think he can do any more than that as a referee.”

Martinez did admit frustrations with Wigan’s display as they look their first win since defeating Reading on November 24.

The Spanish coach was impressed with the way his team reacted to a poor first-half display, however, and was left to rue Wes Hoolahan’s winning goal shortly after the hour mark.

“We never showed our true potential,” Martinez said.

“The start was sluggish and very pedestrian. We never got any rhythm going.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our reaction in the second half. We controlled the game completely and I could see a real momentum building, but more soft defending cost us.”

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