Martinez refuses to deny calling Fergie & Co bullies - but he did call to clear air

29 October 2009 01:30
Think about it: Martinez has had time to reflect[LNB]Wigan manager Roberto Martinez today refused to deny that he had described Sir Alex Ferguson as having a group of 'faithful' managers who gang up against Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez. [LNB] Martinez confirmed that he made early-morning phone calls to Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce and Sunderland's Steve Bruce over comments made in a Spanish newspaper last weekend. [LNB]Once the full implication of the comments began to sink in here, the former Swansea City chief contacted the League Managers' Association, who issued a statement saying the Spaniard 'categorically denied' the quotes. [LNB] [LNB][LNB]However, Martinez today refused to repeat that denial, choosing instead to dance around the questions put to him in a press conference.[LNB]Both Allardyce and Bruce were happy to take Martinez's calls and, according to sources, the explanation was accepted, albeit grudgingly. [LNB]The Spaniard felt the need to clear the air after categorically denying he suggested the Football Association are afraid to punish United boss Ferguson.   [LNB]Martinez said: 'Those managers have probably been in this situation and know how things work. I have had a lot of support in that respect.   [LNB] Three amigos? Ferguson, Bruce (left) and Allardyce (right)[LNB]'To speak about other managers you need to win the league. But it is not in my nature to be outspoken.'[LNB]It was suggested that Martinez claimed Ferguson had faithful followers in Bruce and Allardyce while Benitez was the target of constant sniping.   [LNB]THE AS Q&A INTERVIEWQ: Does Ferguson have as much power as Benitez says?A:Yes, very much so. He has spent his whole life here and that counts forsomething. They have just charged him for accusing a referee of notbeing fit enough and the truth is that they almost were apologising forit. They would have crushed anyone else. Ferguson has a group ofmanagers who are faithful to him. Steve Bruce, who played for him; SamAllardyce, who think he will be his successor at Old Trafford andothers. On the other side you have just Benitez and they are all givinghim such a hard time. Spanish speakers judge for yourself - click here to read the full Q&A transcript - it's 1,300 words long and has been on the AS website since Sunday. Only now has Martinez taken issue with it.Martinez said: 'I have the utmost respect for Sir Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez.  [LNB] 'Sir Alex is probably the best manager in the world while Steve has worked under him and we have a good relationship as he worked at Wigan before me.   [LNB]'As for Sam I respect his achievements and what he has done in thePremier League. I also respect Rafa as he is one of the most successfulSpanish managers ever.'[LNB]Martinez added: 'It is important they allknow I was very disappointed with the stories that were circulating. Itis a very unfortunate situation but people need to understand whathappened.' [LNB] Man in the middle: Martinez's fellow Spaniard benitez[LNB] [LNB] [LNB] Martinez makes calls to calm the storm after his amazing attack on FergusonBruce prepares to raid former club Wigan for £5m defender FigueroaLiverpool boss Rafa Benitez in frame to replace Manuel Pellegrini at Real MadridSir Alex Ferguson lost top spot at Liverpool and is now public enemy No 1 with referees, but let's remember that he is ... STILL THE GREATESTMANCHESTER UNITED FC

Source: Daily_Mail