Tuesday 08 May 2012
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has labelled his side's successful battle against relegation from the Barclays Premier League as an 'incredible achievement'.
The Latics won 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers on Monday night, a victory which ensured their top-flight status for another season – condemning Rovers to the drop in the process.
Martinez steered his side to safety after inspiring them to an astonishing run of late-season form.
"The DW Stadium has to be bouncing on Sunday ready to compete in the best league in the world again next year"
- Roberto Martinez
Wigan were bottom of the table after being held to a 1-1 draw by West Bromwich Albion on March 17th – and their prospects were bleak as they faced arguably the toughest run-in of the League’s struggling sides.
But from that point, Martinez masterminded a run of six wins in eight matches – with the Latics claiming some notable scalps along the way.
Their brilliant results including a first-ever win at Anfield, a memorable home success against Manchester United, a superb away victory over an Arsenal side which had won nine of its previous 10 Barclays Premier League matches and a 4-0 thumping of Champions League-chasing Newcastle.
"It's an incredible achievement with one game still to go and a night to remember for everyone connected with Wigan Athletic," Martinez told Wigan’s official website.
"We knew how important the game was, but when we saw all our fans in the away end it gave us the warmth we needed."
Martinez said he wanted Sunday’s final Barclays Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers to be a celebration.
"We'll look forward to seeing them all [the fans] on Sunday at our DW Stadium," he said.
"It's an occasion the whole football club has to celebrate and we'll make sure that is the case.
"Let's make it a party atmosphere, but at the same time we'll approach the game in the right manner looking for a positive result.
"We've achieved our aim together and we must be proud of that. The DW Stadium has to be bouncing on Sunday ready to compete in the best league in the world once again next year."
"Dave Whelan's an incredible man... he deserves these days"
- Roberto Martinez
Martinez also saluted the work of chairman Dave Whelan after the club’s survival.
"It's easy when things are going well to say how good a chairman we have," he said.
"But through the tough times when we were bottom of the table he kept believing in us, stood firm and allowed us all to keep working towards our goal to keep his dream alive.
"He's an incredible man and I'm incredibly proud to work for him, he deserves these days."