Martinez wants to repay Whelan

BY foxsports • May 21, 2011

Whelan has strongly backed Martinez over the past two years and the Spaniard's job is not thought to be under threat even if Wigan are relegated. Yet that is a scenario Martinez is determined to avoid as he takes his side into their do-or-die final game of the season at Stoke on Sunday. Martinez said: "He represents everything we are at Wigan Athletic. "Over the years he has always come up with the special decisions that have made the difference. "We are all together here. We are here in a way to fulfil his dream and work with what he wanted to achieve. "We are a very close football club, every department relies on the chairman. "This is one of those games that will mean a lot more than just achieving something in the season. "It is about allowing his footballing dream to carry on and making sure the chairman can be extremely proud of the people he has got in his football club." Wigan will begin what is likely to be a day of high tension and drama 19th in the Barclays Premier League but just a point behind 15th-placed Blackburn. The Latics have spent six years in the top flight after undergoing a remarkable transformation under Whelan's ownership. The millionaire businessman, a former Blackburn player, bought the then fourth-tier outfit in 1995 and oversaw their move from Springfield Park to the ground now known as the DW Stadium. His friendship with Martinez dates back to those early days in the mid-90s when the Spaniard arrived as a player. They remain close now and Martinez, 37, said: "We always speak, he comes down to the training ground. "He is a really inspirational figure - a great figure to have around the training ground and dressing room. "He is a special man and the reason for a our dream of Wigan Athletic being in the Premier League. "We need to make sure we don't let him down at the weekend." Victory at the Britannia Stadium could ensure survival at the expense of Blackburn, who face another of the five clubs in danger of the drop in Wolves. The other sides involved in the battle are Blackpool, who travel to Manchester United, and Birmingham, who are at Tottenham. Martinez believes survival with what he believes is a developing team would represent a successful season but he is not allowing himself to look beyond Sunday's game. He said: "It would be an amazing achievement but to talk about that now is the wrong time. "We are so involved in preparation for Stoke that we feel we are still one step away from being able to look back and see how this season went. "The manner we have played in the last third of the competition has been very good in terms of the level of performances. "In the defeats we had we were competitive. "But you can only get the rewards from that if you finish the season successfully. "It is our best moment of the season in terms of numbers in the squad and form. "These are the games we look forward to with real excitement and we have to make sure we give everything we have got to finish the season on a real high. "I really feel the players deserve that." Former Kilmarnock striker Conor Sammon is pushing for a start after coming off the bench to score in last week's dramatic 3-2 win over bottom side West Ham. Martinez, who has no injury concerns, is yet to decide whether to change his side but feels Sammon's goal, his first since his January arrival, will have lifted his confidence at just the right time. He said: "Everyone in the squad has found a real sense of confidence. "That comes with the competition we have got in the squad. "Conor made the step from the SPL quite smoothly and has been working extremely hard. His performance on Sunday shows you that."


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