Martinez: I don't care who wins title

07 May 2010 01:02
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez does not care who wins the Premier League, with his focus squarely on what is set to be a summer of transition.

The Latics meet Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday with the west Londoners odds-on to clinch the victory they need to claim the title ahead of holders Manchester United.

Wigan have enjoyed notable home wins over Arsenal, Liverpool and Carlo Ancelotti's Blues this season, but away from the DW Stadium their form has been dreadful, with only relegated Burnley having lost more games on the road.

Few therefore expect Wigan to thwart Chelsea's title bid, but Martinez is nevertheless delighted his side are involved in such a high-profile encounter, and expects his players to put on a show.

"It is an exciting game for us to be involved in at Chelsea," said the Spaniard.

"We have achieved our aim this season of staying in the Premier League which gives me great pride, and there is also a belief in the dressing room that on our day we can perform well against anyone.

"I do not really care who wins the title, I am only interested in what we do and how we play."

Martinez added: "Everyone will be watching what we do at Stamford Bridge. Worldwide, it is a special occasion. Manchester United, too, will be watching.

"We will be involved in deciding the title in the best league in the world, and we will be focused and prepared.

"It will be tough, Chelsea have only lost once at home all season and conceded just 14 goals. We will do our best, but everything we will do will be for Wigan and our own future."

"But have no doubt, we are not just going there to go through the motions, the players are playing for a lot, some of their careers are at stake. It is a unique opportunity to create great memories."

Martinez's first season of top-flight management has not been without its difficulties - the 9-1 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham undoubtedly marking its nadir - but he has nevertheless been impressed by the mental strength of his squad.

"I am proud of the group I have here," he said. "Some of them are so young but they have never been in a position where they haven't wanted the ball and have played in a pressurised manner.

"I have been told that we have had good moments and rubbish moments. I accept that, but any team can be rubbish, we have shown we can bounce back and beat the very best and that is something I am very proud of."

Martinez will turn to the reconstruction of his side after the final whistle on Sunday, and tellingly refused to dismiss speculation linking him with a move for Hamilton youngster James McArthur, who has expressed his desire to be reunited with former team-mate James McCarthy in Lancashire.

Swansea midfielder Darren Pratley - a player Martinez knows well from his time in charge of the Welsh club - is also another target, while the status of existing squad members is set to give Martinez plenty of food for thought over the coming weeks.

Martinez confirmed Paul Scharner will leave at the end of his contract this summer, although the club will attempt to retain the services of experienced defender Mario Melchiot and veteran goalkeeper Mike Pollitt, both of whom are coming to the end of their existing deals.

"Some will go, some out of contract players will leave but I will try to keep Melchiot and Pollitt," Martinez explained.

"We need character and quality, we will be looking for young players to come in and expand their game and their abilities.

"This is the exciting situation. We aim to bring fresh challenges into the dressing room, a new dimension to the squad. But all that comes after Sunday."

On the speculation over McArthur, Martinez added: "James is a player we know well and have followed for a long time. He has finished his time at Hamilton and been a top performer in the SPL. He has huge potential.

"Pratley is another player I know well and he is young and has Premier League potential. We need different ingredients in our squad.

"There is speculation about a lot of players, and I am not going to say that it is wrong. But although Pratley has been a big player in the Championship, there is a huge gap between that and the Premier League."

Source: Team_Talk