Martinez - 10 games are key

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes the next 10 Premier League games of the season could determine the club's future for the next 20 years.

Last Updated: 17/03/13 at 15:22 Post Comment

Roberto Martinez: Wigan boss determined to avoid relegation

Roberto Martinez: Wigan boss determined to avoid relegation

The Latics are currently in the Premier League relegation zone and six points from safety, although they do have two games in hand on Aston Villa in 17th, the first of which is the Super Sunday showdown with Newcastle United.

Wigan have escaped the drop against the odds in the past, winning seven of their final nine games last term to scramble clear of danger and remain in the top flight.

Increased funds will be available to clubs in the Premier League next term by virtue of a new television deal, with Martinez fully aware of the challenge which lies ahead.

He told The Times: "This season is the hardest battle there's ever been because the teams in the bottom three are all capable of getting out. But we have to stay up and we will stay up.

"The next 10 games in the league are so important for us to be fine for the next, probably, 15 to 20 years.

"The gap between the Championship and Premier League is going to be bigger and (avoiding relegation) would allow us to push towards different aims.

"The next step for Wigan has to be European football, the top 10. You work with that dream in mind and slowly we're ticking more boxes."

Four for one

Martinez has needed to be astute in the transfer market throughout his time with Wigan and explained how he looks to reinvest the funds from the sale of one key player by bringing in four new faces.

He said: "Every big first-team player we lose has to be replaced, ideally by four players. Two young players and two experienced ones.

"Because unless you spend more money than you get in, you won't replace a player like-for-like in our league and (by signing four players) the margin of error is smaller, you allow signings more time and you go towards a younger group.

"The players who come to Wigan have to be very specific in technical ability and tactical awareness. When you're a possession team trying to avoid relegation you have to be very conscious of every move because you can leave yourself exposed and it puts players under great pressure to think all the time."

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