Belfast Telegraph

Martinez puts aside Swans sentiment

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez admits he has great affection for former club Swansea but hopes to send them away from the DW Stadium unhappy on Saturday.

Swansea appear to have done enough to survive their debut season in the Barclays Premier League, sitting 14th on 30 points, and Martinez has nothing but admiration for the team he played for and led to the League One title as boss in 2008.

With games running out to secure their survival, Martinez knows there is no room for sentiment, but admitted: "I have a huge feeling for Swansea, it is a special club."

However, the Spaniard, whose side can not only move off the bottom of the table with a win but can lift themselves out of the relegation zone, added: "It is understandable when you spend seven seasons there like I did going through a rollercoaster of emotions trying to achieve promotion as a player.

"As a manager we were able to be very successful starting from scratch.

"Those are memories I will never lose and I am extremely proud of them - I always hope the best for them but on Saturday I won't be able to share that feeling.

"I am looking at the position we are in with Wigan, more than ever it is a really important period for the club.

"Swansea are not a newly-promoted side any more and for the first two-thirds of the season they deserve respect and huge credit from everyone.

"They will come and get on the ball, keep the ball for long spells and we have to find a way to carry on playing well and achieving the points we need - that is my focus and my concentration.

"If I was concentrating on other things I wouldn't be helping myself."


From Belfast Telegraph