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Wigan boss Roberto Martinez proud of relegated Latics
Roberto Martinez was a proud man as Wigan said goodbye to the Barclays Premier League with a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa.
Had results been different over the past couple of weeks, victory may have kept the Latics up and sent Villa down, but instead the hosts went into the final game knowing their eight-year stay in the top flight was over.
Martinez said: "I'm very proud. When you enjoy the moments that we had with our fans, you can only feel proud. It's been an emotional week. We're always a unique football club, we've been doing that season after season. Even in relegation, we have to do it in the most unique way - winning the FA Cup and getting relegated, the first team that has ever done that."
He added: "It's been a rollercoaster of emotions this week but when you have the supporters that we have, they are the reason why we are so proud of our football club.
"We need to get stronger in the league and regain our Premier League status. I think, over the last eight seasons, we've made sure everyone knows Wigan Athletic belongs at this level."
For Villa, the end of the campaign brought relief that they will have another Premier League season to look forward to.
Boss Paul Lambert said: "It's been really hard. Especially in that Christmas period when we couldn't get a win. But the big thing was the crowd stayed with it. I think that was a very telling factor.
"Because we were in a transitional period, we knew we had to come through it. I think the club would have kept on sliding. We had to strip it right back and get it going.
"(Chairman) Randy Lerner's been absolutely fantastic with us. He knows the philosophy, that we're trying to build the club. And you see that performance and the performances of the last five months, it's been extremely high."
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