Martinez welcomes Villa resurgence
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez insists he is happy to see relegation rivals Aston Villa hitting form.
Villa cut Latics five points adrift of Barclays Premier League safety with a stunning 6-1 win over Sunderland on Monday, their fourth victory in their last seven outings. But Martinez believes Villa's run has helped Wigan because it has brought other teams into the scrap and it could take pressure off his side's final-day clash with the midlanders.
Lambert's side are now level with Sunderland and Newcastle on 37 points with three to play while Wigan, on 32 points, have a game in hand. Martinez said: "We wanted Aston Villa to have a very strong ending to the season."
The Spaniard continued: "The reason for that is I don't think it would be healthy for any of the teams go into the final game of the season as a final, a showdown, where one of the teams has to get relegated. I think that would be very dangerous.
"As it stands now I think it shows the fight goes a bit further than two teams. I think that is only a positive for every team involved in that. It is great for us that the fight to avoid that third place is more open than just two teams."
Wigan were just moments away from claiming a valuable three points when they conceded a last-gasp equaliser - an Emmerson Boyce own goal - to Tottenham last weekend. It was an agonising result but the ever-optimistic Martinez has lost none of his confidence and, with recent performances good despite poor results, remains hopeful of safety.
Martinez said: "I think we have played extremely well. You need to remember that against Manchester City and West Ham we never got a point but the performances were very good.
"Against Spurs we carried on with that level and I think we did enough to get the three points but, as it happens in games sometimes, you don't the full reward.
"If you perform well enough over the period you are fighting to avoid relegation, the reward will be there.
"In football I think you always get what you deserve. Over the course of 38 games you can't come out and complain or moan or blame other people. You need to accept at the end of the 38 games you will get the points you deserve."