Sunday 26 January 2020

Martinez focused only on Wigan

Roberto Martinez has thrown cold water over a move to Everton
Roberto Martinez has thrown cold water over a move to Everton

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has no intention of allowing speculation over a summer move to Everton to get in the way of his side's first FA Cup final.

The Latics head to Wembley anchored in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone knowing their manager is hot favourite to replace David Moyes at Goodison Park following the confirmation he will join Manchester United on July 1. Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has already insisted the Toffees are not a big enough club to attract someone of Martinez's calibre.

However, whilst he allowed himself a chuckle at Whelan's intervention, it is clearly not a debate Martinez is prepared to get into, either with the media or, more importantly, Everton - at least not now. "It would be a waste of time for anyone at the moment," said Martinez.

"The chairman has a fantastic knowledge about the game and you can ask him anything. He will never turn away from an answer. But the most important thing for me is to be ready for Saturday.

"Whatever people say doesn't affect us. This is the peak of our season and we are not going to lose any focus or concentration. All that matters is Wigan Athletic. We need to fight to make our fans proud."

It is a shame for Wigan that the build-up to the biggest day in their entire history should be overshadowed by discussion of Martinez's future.

The Spaniard believes success at Wembley would help alter the perceptions which surround the club from those outside of the DW Stadium.

He added: "It would change the perception from the outside and I think that's very, very important.

"Internally we all know what an incredible achievement Wigan Athletic is. Wigan Athletic as a whole - from the chairman coming up with that vision and that idea - is an incredible story, but from the outside there's nothing like winning titles and major titles to get that huge football respect and that will be very, very important for us.

"Internally it's just another step forward to what this football club is defying the odds to achieve and carry on achieving."

PA Media

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