Belfast Telegraph

Martinez: Philosophy bearing fruit

Roberto Martinez was always confident Wigan could play their way out of the Barclays Premier League relegation dogfight.

The Latics find themselves five points clear of the bottom three following four wins in their last five matches after adding a 2-1 victory at Arsenal on Monday night to memorable triumphs at Anfield and over leaders Manchester United.

"I always believe the only way you can get out of relegation is by playing well," the Wigan boss said. "If you do not get the results, you need to find a way to win, but it is not about short-term ambition, to sneak a win here or there, because that is not going to be enough."

It is some turnaround in fortunes, with Wigan having plummeted to the foot of the table following a run of eight consecutive defeats from mid-September to early November - which were followed by four on the spin in January.

Martinez has always defended his philosophy of staying true to their passing game, building the team around the likes of livewire Victor Moses - who caused Arsenal's defence all sorts of problems last night - and it is one which now has started to deliver.

He added: "The system suits our players, you have to be a bit different to get an advantage if you are brave enough to get on the ball. We are flexible enough to change it, and we have had to adapt in certain games.

"However, systems do not win you games, it is the attitude of the players."

The manager accepts it has not been an easy path back towards top-flight survival, which had for so long looked out of reach.

"Because we started so poorly and were in the bottom positions, it takes confidence away," he said. "It was an uphill battle to have that belief, I want the team to be brave and arrogant on the ball.

"That takes good results, probably this week will be a very important moment in our season. Now is the moment to regroup, recover and make sure we approach the next four games with the same intensity."

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