Ollie: Mart deserves more credit

BY foxsports • April 15, 2011

It has been a difficult second season for Martinez in charge of Wigan, who finished 16th under him last year but are currently bottom of the Premier League with six games to play. The 37-year-old landed the job with the Latics in 2009 after an impressive stint at Swansea, during which he guided the Welsh side into the Championship and earned wide acclaim for the way they played. Their flowing style was a major influence on Blackpool gaffer Holloway and he is confident Martinez - although struggling to find success at the moment - is destined for great things. "I don't think he's got anything like the credit he deserves," Holloway said. "He's come up from two divisions down and he's taken over at a club which has sold some top-quality players. "The football they have tried to play is quite outstanding. Unfortunately this level is so tough and there is always going to be someone down at the bottom. "But as football managers go, I think he is fantastic and there is no doubt in my mind that he is going to be a top, top manager - not just keeping a club in the Premier League. "I think he will have gone an awfully long way by the time he finishes, because he is a lot younger than me and looks a lot fresher than me! He's been an inspiration to me." Since watching Martinez's Swansea, Holloway has transformed Blackpool into the dynamic outfit that won promotion to the Premier League last summer and have so far managed to keep their heads above the relegation zone this term. The Seasiders are 17th, just two points better off than Wigan, and tomorrow's clash between the two sides at Bloomfield Road could prove vital to either's chances of survival. It promises to be quite a battle - although it seems the feeling between the two managers could not be more harmonious. Told that Martinez had described him as inspirational, Holloway said: "He's really the one who alerted me to seeing what else there was out there. "A friend of mine told me to go and watch them (Swansea), so I did. "I was amazed at the players he had and how they were now playing - the coolness they had, the ball control, and it must have been something he was doing day in, day out, week in, week out to improve them. "I had a look at what I was doing and thought I'd better change, so if I'm inspirational, what on earth is he? "I'm not going to stand here patting him on the back, but he's a wonderful fella. "He's a Spanish lad and it seems to be bred in them - they keep the ball, look after it. His players do, and he teaches them how to do it." Holloway's team have won only once in their last 12 games but he feels the Tangerines still have plenty of fight left in them. "We always knew we were going to be a bit punchdrunk by the end of the season, with the level of this," Holloway said. "We have been on the ropes a little bit and we thought we would have been on them a lot more - we probably thought we'd be on the canvas a bit more as well, to be fair, actually knocked out at the bottom of the league. "But the great thing is that we haven't been hit down yet. "People have been hitting us and we've been wobbled, but that is because they are good and we are trying to get as good as them. "But all in all, the old slugger is still standing and we have got six more punches to try to throw. "And do I think we can land a couple of them? Yes I do. So let's see what happens."

share story