Roberto realistic after survival

Match-winner Hugo Rodallega and the £10million-rated Charles

N’Zogbia are likely to top a lot of shopping lists this summer and

Martinez knows it will be difficult to resist major offers that

come his club’s way. But, while he may have to say goodbye to some

top players, ensuring another season in the top flight means Wigan

will be in a stronger position when it comes to transfer

negotiations. “For me to say I am going to keep all the players

would be foolish,” Martinez said. “Even Manchester United cannot

say that. But it was a real statement in January when we didn’t

sell [N’Zogbia] for a massive offer. “The club has to find the

right time and price to sell players. If you have to do it, then it

has to be with a real idea of how you will invest the money and go

on to take the club to the next level.” Martinez has instilled what

he describes as a real “arrogance” among his young squad this term

and believes, if he can retain the nucleus, the Latics will be in a

much stronger position for the start of next season. “We are a

young group and we don’t have the experience and the know-how in

some areas of the game to get the points we deserve,” he added.

“But our youth gives us a great attitude and that’s why the ended

the season why we did. The players went to a different level in the

last 15 games, and I feel we could play on for another 20 games

now.” The Spaniard’s job appeared to be hanging by a thread after a

poor start to the campaign. But he stuck to his belief that his

players would ultimately grasp his pure footballing philosophy, and

was rewarded handsomely in the run-in. Martinez says he will

continue to stick by his belief in playing the game right way

irrespective of what unfolds for the club next season. “It’s a

victory for long-term planning,” said Martinez. “I believe you can

destroy yourselves wanting to win one game, and then afterwards

you’ve got no real structure to take into the future. “The squad

has a real arrogance in their football. I feel this team has got a

real understanding and belief in our concepts, and that is going to

set us up for a good start when it comes to next season.” Stoke

boss Tony Pulis will also look to next season with confidence but

admits it was a disappointing way to bow out after an encouraging

campaign highlighted by a place in the FA Cup final. Pulis said:

“We desperately wanted to go out on a high because we have had a

great season and there have been a lot of highs along the way. “But

it wasn’t to be so we have to take this on the chin. We’ll have a

bit of a break but then start planning for how we can move on again

next season.”