Martinez delighted by Di Santo

  • Last Updated: September 2 2012, 14:38 BST

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez lauded in-form forward Franco Di Santo for his all-round play after the Latics' 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw with Stoke at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

Franco Di Santo: Performance against Stoke delighted Martinez

Di Santo netted the hosts' second goal in the 49th minute in a counter-attack move, collecting the ball on the edge of his own box, feeding strike partner Arouna Kone up the right wing and then connecting first time with the return pass to beat goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Franco Di Santo

9. Franco Di Santo

Title Number
Appearances 9 (0)
Goals 4
Assists 1
Yellows 2
Reds 0
*Current Season

Extending back to last season, it was a fifth goal in eight top-flight matches for the Argentinian, a run which has doubled his Wigan total since joining them from Chelsea in the summer of 2010.

Martinez has been delighted to see the improvement in Di Santo's conversion rate and was keen to emphasise the range of attributes he felt the 23-year-old had demonstrated with Saturday's goal.

"I always knew Franco was a striker with tremendous potential," Martinez said.

"Remember that he arrived in this country (in 2008) at a really young age and had to learn quickly.

"He is a striker with a tremendous touch, great finishing and energy and I think he can be outstanding in every aspect as a centre-forward.

"You look at the second goal and it is as good as you are going to see in terms of centre-forward play.

"He is doing his duties defensively, in the counter-attack there is outstanding link-up play with his partner, and then he is as composed as you can be in the box.

"The play between Arouna and Franco was outstanding for that goal and that is why you get a little bit frustrated - because a goal like that deserves all three points."

Wigan had started the game well and were 1-0 up inside five minutes thanks to Shaun Maloney's penalty, only to concede a spot-kick themselves five minutes before the break which Jon Walters dispatched for the visitors.

Di Santo's strike restored the Latics' advantage, but Stoke secured their third draw from three Premier League games so far through Peter Crouch's header with 14 minutes to go.

Crouch nodded in a cross from Walters, who had been teed up by substitute Cameron Jerome.

Potters boss Tony Pulis' decision to take off winger Michael Kightly and replace him with Jerome just moments earlier had proved unpopular with some of the away fans.

There were chants of "you don't know what you're doing" aimed at the manager, but what followed appeared to vindicate his judgement.

When it was suggested to him afterwards that he had, in fact, made quite a good substitution, Pulis said: "Yeah, not bad. Sometimes you do it and sometimes you don't.

"Kights has played two full games this week and he looked a little bit tired at the end just before we brought him off. So Cameron came on and livened us up.

"I just think we are in a society where we have to accept that there are a hell of a lot of people who have their opinions, and rightly so - they pay their money.

"You have to accept it, whether you like it or not.

"But I'm big, ugly and strong enough to not take any notice."