Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Martinez only focused on survival

Roberto Martinez is hoping to pull off another great escape
Roberto Martinez is hoping to pull off another great escape

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez takes charge of his 150th Barclays Premier League match for the club on Tuesday night but insists the only landmark he is interested in is a ninth successive season in the top flight.

A victory against the Spaniard's former club would lift the Latics out of the bottom three on goal difference with two games to go, but Martinez insists being there on the final day of the season is what really counts.

"I never really take much notice of landmarks but 150 games is an incredible number," said Martinez. "There's not many managers who have done it, put it that way. At 39 to have that honour is very satisfying but football is not about managers or landmarks it is about reaching our aim. There are nine points still available for us and that's our main focus right now."

He added: "We're not viewing the (Swansea) game simply as a chance to move out of the bottom three.

"Each week the table has its twists and turns so for me the only thing to focus on is the opportunity to add more points to our tally.

"When May 19 comes around that's when we'll focus on the table with a points tally that will help us achieve our aims.

"But it's certainly pleasing to see a real continuity in our performances.

"The last four games have seen displays of the highest order and that's when you need to take three points."

Midfielder James McArthur is set to return having been rested for Saturday's vital 3-2 win over West Brom.

The Scotland international still played his part at the Hawthorns, scoring with his first touch after coming on as a substitute and then heading off the line in the dying seconds.

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