Whelan tips Martinez for the top

Martinez guided Latics to another season of top-flight football on
Survival Sunday following a 1-0 success over FA Cup runners-up
Stoke City. The three-point haul meant a second successful campaign
for Martinez in keeping Wigan up after the club’s former player
joined from Swansea City. Whelan knew that appointing Martinez was
the right move having been a star for the club as a player and the
Latics supremo expects him to go from strength to strength.
Although Whelan is not worried about losing the 37-year-old’s
services this summer, he believes as his manager continues to grow
and learn he will eventually move on to bigger and better things.
“Roberto is something special,” said Whelan. “When I lost Steve
Bruce, I lost a very good manager, but I would never stand in
anybody’s way if they want to go to a bigger club. As soon as I
lost Steve, I went for Roberto because he is Wigan through and
through. “Roberto is confident we can finish in the top half next
season and I have no doubt he can do it because the youngsters
coming through are quality players. We can add to them, but Roberto
doesn’t spend money foolishly. He’s a wise manager and I trust him
implicitly. Together we are a great team. “In all my playing days
and all my days as a chairman, Roberto is the best manager I’ve
ever worked with. He’s totally honest, he’s totally up front. He’s
the same with the players. He makes them work hard and is strict
with them on certain things, especially drinking alcohol, which I
agree with. Like him, I believe football and alcohol don’t mix. “My
biggest problem in the next couple of years will be: Can I keep
him? I’ll keep him this summer, I have no doubt, but he is destined
for bigger things. There is no doubt in my mind he will go to one
of the top European clubs. “You just have to see the way he works,
he is so calm. You don’t see him jumping up and down on the line
like other managers. He keeps his cool all the time.”