Martinez: Just focus on points goal to stay up

19 Apr 2018

Former Wigan boss says managers fighting drop need clarity and predicts relegation battle will go to the wire

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Roberto Martinez knows all about the stresses of a Premier League relegation battle.

The Wigan Athletic manager oversaw three successful fights against the drop between 2010 and 2012.

He says that as a manager, when you are near the bottom of the table, there is only one thing on your mind.

“What you want to know is the points tally,” he says. “You don’t look at anything else apart from: What’s the target? What do you need to stay up?

Mark Hughes finds himself in that same position, with Southampton lying five points from safety ahead of their trip to Leicester City on Thursday.

But Martinez believes Hughes has cause for hope.

Speaking after their 3-2 defeat against Chelsea on Saturday he predicts Southampton will still be fighting on the final day of the season if they replicate their first-half display on Saturday, when went 2-0 up.

“Southampton need to get to 36 points," he said. "They need eight points. It’s about having clarity in this period.

“Looking at the way Southampton played in the first half [against Chelsea], if they can play in that way until the end of the season they’ve got a great chance.

“I just think this season it’s going to go down to the last day of the campaign.”

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