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Martinez realistic after survival

23 May 2011 16:00:14

Martinez realistic after survival

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is preparing for the harsh reality of having to sell off some of his big-name stars despite the Latics having secured Barclays Premier League survival with yesterday's 1-0 victory at Stoke.

Match-winner Hugo Rodallega and the £10million-rated Charles N'Zogbia are likely to top a lot of shopping lists this summer and Martinez knows it will be difficult to resist major offers that come his club's way.

But, while he may have to say goodbye to some top players, ensuring another season in the top flight means Wigan will be in a stronger position when it comes to transfer negotiations. "For me to say I am going to keep all the players would be foolish," Martinez said.

"Even Manchester United cannot say that. But it was a real statement in January when we didn't sell [N'Zogbia] for a massive offer. The club has to find the right time and price to sell players. If you have to do it, then it has to be with a real idea of how you will invest the money and go on to take the club to the next level."

Martinez has instilled what he describes as a real "arrogance" among his young squad this term and believes, if he can retain the nucleus, the Latics will be in a much stronger position for the start of next season.

"We are a young group and we don't have the experience and the know-how in some areas of the game to get the points we deserve," he added.

"But our youth gives us a great attitude and that's why the ended the season why we did. The players went to a different level in the last 15 games, and I feel we could play on for another 20 games now."

The Spaniard's job appeared to be hanging by a thread after a poor start to the campaign. But he stuck to his belief that his players would ultimately grasp his pure footballing philosophy, and was rewarded handsomely in the run-in. Martinez says he will continue to stick by his belief in playing the game right way irrespective of what unfolds for the club next season.

"It's a victory for long-term planning," said Martinez. "I believe you can destroy yourselves wanting to win one game, and then afterwards you've got no real structure to take into the future.

"The squad has a real arrogance in their football. I feel this team has got a real understanding and belief in our concepts, and that is going to set us up for a good start when it comes to next season."


PA

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