Martinez: We don’t have to sell

After watching his side secure top-flight survival with a 1-0 win

at Stoke on Sunday, the Spaniard has already started work on

planning his squad for next season. It remains to be seen, though,

if the likes of Sunday’s hero Hugo Rodallega, winger Charles

N’Zogbia and midfielder Mohamed Diame will all remain at the DW

Stadium for another campaign. Rodallega and N’Zogbia in particular

have long been linked with moves away from the Lancashire club,

while Senegal international Diame last week admitted he would find

it hard to snub a move to potential suitors Sevilla. But Martinez

is adamant that chairman Dave Whelan has not told him he has to

sell anyone, and that he will decide who comes and goes. “Every

individual is different, but we don’t have to sell and that’s very

strong,” he said on Tuesday. “You get certain players that feel

they need a new challenge and other clubs can offer that at a

specific moment of their career, offer you something else in terms

of a playing challenge. It’s impossible to stop that. “But the club

will dictate. We are in a position where things and the timings

have to be right for Wigan. “It would be foolish for me to say that

we’re going to keep all the players. I don’t even know if the best

clubs in the world can say that. We’ve seen that. But whatever

happens, we need to finish with a stronger squad than we had this

season.” Diame joined Wigan from Rayo Vallecano and was one of

Martinez’s first signings after he arrived from Swansea in 2009.

The France-born player has emerged as a key cog in Martinez’s side,

and rather than allowing him to move back to Spain, Martinez is

hopeful of tying him to a new, improved deal. He said: “It wouldn’t

surprise me if he was attracting interest. I think Momo had a very

good impact in the second division in Spain (with Vallecano) and I

think a lot of clubs were thinking about Momo and didn’t take the

chance. “If you look at the two seasons he’s had with us, he hasn’t

surprised me at all. Momo is a very important player for us and

we’re looking to build something special over the next few seasons

and Momo is a big part of that plan. “We’re hoping we can sit down

and extend his contract more than listen to offers for him.” Having

looked certain to be relegated to the Championship at one stage,

Wigan left it as late as possible to retain their place in the

Premier League, winning their last two games to pull off a great

escape. And although he always maintained calmness throughout that

time, Martinez is now happy to admit he did have some concerns.

“The last few weeks have been really difficult,” he said. “We had

to be open-minded about how we’d do pre-season and the new season

as we didn’t know what competition we’d be in. “It’s a great

feeling but we’re back to work now and we don’t realise how much

work we have to do now that we’d put to one side.”