Whelan sets target for next season

02 May 2010 01:43
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan insists staying in the Premier League has to be the club's goal again next season.[LNB] Whelan, 73, believes they do not have the resources to be pushing for a place that would propel them among the continent's finest.[LNB]He said: "We are Wigan Athletic and when we set off at the start of the season all we are looking for is survival.[LNB]"It is no use thinking we can get into Europe. We can have ambition and that's finishing in the top half of the league.[LNB]"That's what Roberto (Martinez) is intent on doing in this coming season. But if we survive, it's success."[LNB]It has been a mixed debut season for Spanish coach Martinez, who arrived in the summer from Swansea.[LNB]His side have enjoyed home victories against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal - with Charles N'Zogbia scoring a late winner - but shipped nine goals at Tottenham.[LNB]Whelan, who has seen the club spectacularly climb the pyramid from the backwaters of non-league football to the top flight appears to have lost none of his enthusiasm despite a roller-coaster ride.[LNB]He said: "When I came in and where we are now you cannot comprehend. Wigan were playing non-league football 25 years ago. I was a member of the board when they were in the Lancashire Combination.[LNB]"To play Arsenal here and beat them was the finest moment of my life. When that winning goal went in I have never felt anything so good. Everything we have done for that one moment in time was worth it."[LNB]With Hull due to visit the DW Stadium on Monday, Whelan insists Martinez remains the man to take the club forward.[LNB]Whelan did after all give assurances when the appointment was that the new manager would be allowed to see out his contract, no matter what.[LNB]He said: "I do not doubt Roberto in any way. He is one of the best young managers in Europe. He has learned a hell of a lot this season and he is a quick learner.[LNB]"When you are moving up from the Championship it is really difficult. I think Roberto has seen a lot of things in the Premier League that have surprised him.[LNB]"We have been brilliant and awful. It has been a very unusual season. But we got the right result - we stayed up."[LNB]Martinez said: "I am very proud of the players and the standards they have shown this season. We have got a group now where we are all very excited about their potential.[LNB]"We need to kick on, make sure that we can reproduce the highlights of this season and be a little bit more consistent so that we can take Wigan to the next level."

Source: Team_Talk