The Latics chairman jumped to the defence of current manager Roberto Martinez in the wake of the club's humiliation at White Hart Lane, claiming the Spaniard had inherited "a few dodgy signings" after he replaced Bruce at the helm.
However, the Black Cats manager said: "I saw the quotes from Dave Whelan and I know that he was in Barbados at the time, so maybe he'd had one or two glasses of white wine when he made the remarks!
"I could respond but I'm not going to because I don't want it to blow up into something it doesn't have to be.
"I had a great relationship with the Wigan chairman and the one thing he was good at was always trying to protect the manager whenever possible, so I haven't taken offence at what was said.
"I think he was just trying to take the heat off his manager and I can understand that.
"I was trying to think of the couple of dodgy signings he was on about and I can only think of Hugo Rodallega and Charles N'Zogbia, who were signed at the back end of my time there, and if Wigan want to offload those two then we will be happy to take them.
"I'm not going to get embroiled in that sort of stuff, but he knows the decent job I did for him."
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