Chairman claims that midfielder’s horror tackle was not reckless.
Wigan owner Dave Whelan has defended Callum McManaman after the midfielder’s horror challenge on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara.
Latics youngster McManaman left 20-year-old left-back Haidara writhing in agony after a knee-high challenge in the first half of Wigan’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle.
Haidara was stretched off but McManaman was not even booked for the incident, with referee Mark Halsey apparently unsighted.
McManaman, 21, is facing a retrospective three-match ban from the Football Association, while Haidara has suspected knee ligament damage.
“Young McManaman went in for the ball and got the ball, as clean as a whistle, then followed through and they collided,” Whelan told BBC Radio Five Live.
“The referee was 15 yards from the tackle. I don’t think his view was blocked. He had a clear view. I had a clear view in the stands,” the 76-year-old continued.
McManaman has faced widespread condemnation for the incident, with Newcastle boss Alan Pardew claiming he felt a sense of ‘injustice’ that the tackle, which did not even earn a free-kick for the Toon, went unpunished.
“It was an awful tackle. I have got a boy going to hospital and that’s a worse feeling than losing,” said Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.
“It looks like knee ligaments and he’s got terrible bruising on his leg as well.
“It looked a bad challenge but I didn’t realise how bad until it filtered through to us from the sideline.”
Pardew’s frustration was compounded when Maynor Figueroa appeared to handle in the build-up to Arouna Kone’s 90th-minute winner.
“It is almost injustice you feel,” Pardew told BBC Sport.
“Your team-mate has got a terrible injury and the tackle is not punished. It’s difficult – you want to get that extra bit, not retribution, but you want to win the game.”
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was diplomatic after the tackle, claiming football was a contact sport and insisting: “We are not a nasty team.”