We must be more ruthless – Martinez

Towards the end of his first season in charge of Wigan, Martinez is

not surprised to see the Latics one place and four points above the

drop zone. The Spaniard always knew that in stamping his own mark

and bringing in the players he wanted, it would be an uphill

struggle for survival. And starting with Wednesday night’s DW

Stadium clash with Portsmouth, Martinez has just five matches to

spare the Latics from joining Pompey in the Championship next

season. “The Premier League is a ruthless one because of the

quality of the teams. It is the best in world football, and that is

challenging in itself,” Martinez said. “So I knew it was going to

be hard, a test for not just the players and the staff, but

everyone at Wigan Athletic. “At any club, when you have such a big

turnaround in the playing staff, then it is going to be tough. “I

always said my first year would be the hardest because we are

setting standards and laying foundations for what we are going to

do in the future. “We are where we expected to be. I’m not

surprised. Now we have to finish the season as strong as we can,

making sure we reach our aim of staying in the Premier League.”

Martinez feels certain results have underlined the potential of his

team, but then there have been performances lacking the edge needed

to grind out points. “The performances have been a lot better than

the points we have,” he added. “We’ve enjoyed real highs, such as

against Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool, beating the latter two

for the first time in our history which for me spoke volumes. “They

weren’t just fluke results, they were excellent performances. “But

looking at others, with a little more know-how, ruthlessness, of

knowing what’s needed, we could have converted those into points

and not been in the situation we now find ourselves. “It’s part of

the process, part of the learning curve, which is the price you

have to pay sometimes.” Martinez firmly believes survival will

guarantee growth under his leadership. “It’s been enjoyable to see

the standards we have on a daily basis,” said Martinez. “The

players are working for each other and we’ve a very strong core at

the moment. “The talent and potential we have in our squad is

fascinating, and that’s what gives me real pleasure in my work

every day.” Martinez will again be without defender Gary Caldwell,

who serves the second of a three-match ban. Emmerson Boyce could

return after missing the last three games with a back problem, but

Hendry Thomas is doubtful with a quad injury.