Martinez man to lead Wigan fightback

Roberto Martinez applauds Latics fans following the defeat  at Arsenal which saw Wigan relegated from the Premier League.
Roberto Martinez applauds Latics fans following the defeat at Arsenal which saw Wigan relegated from the Premier League.
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Wigan chairman Dave Whelan will try to persuade Roberto Martinez to stay and take the club back into the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt next season but admits the Spaniard has received numerous offers from other clubs.

Whelan will have a meeting with Martinez after the Latics’ final match of the season at home to Aston Villa on Sunday to hammer out their plans for next season after the FA Cup winners were condemned to relegation by Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat at Arsenal.

The Wigan chairman has promised to boost the size of the squad to cope with the demands of European football, and hopes Martinez will remain at the club.

Everton are in the market for a new manager after David Moyes’ move to Manchester United but Whelan said there were other clubs after Martinez.

Whelansaid: “We’ll have a meeting after the final match and he’s so honest he will tell me then whether he is staying or going.

“He has had numerous offers. There’s clubs bigger than Everton looking at Roberto every season because he’s a quality manager.

“We have a partnership, we have complete trust in each other, that’s how we operate. Of course we would love him to stay but what he decides I will accept.

“The first season is the one to get back up – the parachute payment is the biggest and we should have the same core of players.”

Whelan estimates that Wigan will have to play an extra 12 to 15 matches next season - 46 rather than 38 in the league, plus the demands of the Europa League.

He added: “We are going to have to have more players - take into account the Community Shield against Manchester United and we could end up playing 60 games. We will need a bigger squad.”

Whelan also admitted that it would be impossible to choose between winning the FA Cup and staying in the Premier League.

“The FA Cup is monumental and historic but to be in the Premier League is so important commercially and financially,” he said.

“What made the difference this season is that Lady Luck deserted us.

“We had the most horrendous luck with injuries – sometimes eight first-choice players out with injury. We accept that overall we were not quite good enough but we also feel hard-done-by.”

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Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has promised Jamie Carragher there will always be a job for him at the club after he retires as a player this weekend.

The 35-year-old will make his 737th and final Reds appearance against QPR on Sunday before moving into television punditry next season.

However, Werner said the club would welcome back Carragher’s experience with open arms.

“We wish Jamie well in his new career and the door will always be open for him at Liverpool,” he said.

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