Belfast Telegraph

Martinez wants to build on United win

Roberto Martinez feels Wigan achieved "mission impossible" by recording their first ever win over Manchester United - but has stressed it will count for little if they do not now go on to secure their survival in the Barclays Premier League.

Given table-toppers United had triumphed in all 14 of their previous meetings with the Latics - and went into Wednesday's game at the DW Stadium off the back of an eight-match top-flight winning streak - the odds looked stacked against the hosts, but Shaun Maloney's second-half strike earned them an unlikely 1-0 victory.

"The performance on Wednesday was in many ways very, very important for us," said Martinez. "If you ask any Wigan Athletic fan, Manchester United was a scary prospect... so to be able to overcome that and just to achieve the three points in the manner we did, it was very pleasing."

More importantly, it also moved Wigan out of the relegation zone for the first time since October and their manager Martinez, while delighted by his players' historic efforts in finally defeating the Red Devils, is adamant the team must keep pushing on in their battle to beat the drop.

"If we don't, the performance against Manchester United will count for very little," he said.

"We need points, we need to work extremely hard in the next five games and we cannot lose concentration."

The concentration of his team was one of the things Martinez was particularly pleased to see on Wednesday night following the emergence earlier in the day of reports that he was set to quit Wigan at the end of the season.

After the match, the Spaniard confirmed he had signed a new deal at the club last summer for an extra two years and dismissed talk of him leaving.

Next up for Wigan is Arsenal away on Monday night and striker Hugo Rodallega, who has not played since March 11 due to a knee problem, is Martinez's only injury concern.

"He is not at 100% yet and he is the only one where there is a question mark about whether or not he will be available for Monday. Everyone else is fully fit and the squad is as strong as ever," Martinez said.


From Belfast Telegraph