Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Martinez wants Wigan feat to be feted

Roberto Martinez

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is looking forward to a "party atmosphere" at the DW Stadium as his side prepare for the final day of the Barclays Premier League season having already secured their safety.

The Latics' survival and their eighth successive campaign in the top-flight was guaranteed on Monday when they won 1-0 at Blackburn, who in turn were condemned to the drop.

Martinez said: "As players and staff we are preparing for the game as always, in terms of trying to win it and give everything we have got. But also, I do want the football club to realise what the players have achieved this season, and what the club has achieved over the last seven seasons."

The victory over Blackburn was the sixth in a remarkable eight-game sequence, which has included triumphs over Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle, for Martinez's men.

And he wants to see no let up in Sunday's season-closing contest against rock-bottom Wolves, whose relegation was confirmed almost three weeks ago.

But while the Spaniard is eager for his players to focus on the job of securing one last victory for 2011-12, he also feels it is important that their achievement in preserving Premier League status is given full credit.

He added: "To be able to get the eighth season at this level is an amazing achievement and I want every single fan to be very proud of the team and of being connected to Wigan Athletic. On Sunday, it will be important to be proud of Wigan Athletic and make it a real party atmosphere at the DW Stadium."

Wigan's recent run of results has taken them from joint-bottom of the league up to their present position of 15th, five points clear of the relegation zone. They cannot climb any higher in the table, but they are two points ahead of Aston Villa, who stand 16th, which is where the Latics finished last term.

In that campaign, during which they avoided relegation on the final day, Wigan reached 42 points. They are on 40 and have the chance to better that total this time, while each place in the table brings a higher financial pay-out from the Premier League, and the combination of factors mean Wigan have no intention of taking it easy on Sunday.

"It is important to finish with the momentum that we want to bring into next season," Martinez said. "That is the first thing - secondly, financially there are big rewards which is important, and thirdly, you want to finish with a winning feeling."

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