Martinez remains focused on Wigan

Roberto Martinez is happy with Harry Redknapp's recent remarks, but his focus remains on Wigan's crucial period.

Last Updated: 06/04/13 at 14:58 Post Comment

Martinez: Flattered by Redknapp's England management calls

Martinez: Flattered by Redknapp's England management calls

Roberto Martinez is happy with Harry Redknapp's recent remarks, but his focus remains on "the most significant seven weeks in Wigan's history".

Latics boss Martinez goes head to head with QPR counterpart Redknapp at Loftus Road on Sunday in a crunch relegation clash for both clubs in the Premier League.

Martinez is again performing wonders for Wigan at the business end of the season as the club have won five of their last six matches in all competitions.

With four of those wins in the league, Wigan have given themselves a fighting chance of again escaping the drop, whilst they also have a shot at FA Cup glory as they face a semi-final with Millwall at Wembley next weekend.

Given what Martinez has done for Wigan, and with his footballing roots embedded in Spain who currently dominate the international stage, Redknapp feels the 39-year-old could one day work for England.

"If we want to talk about playing on the world stage and keeping possession of the ball, really playing like the Spanish, we should look at Roberto," said Redknapp earlier this week.

"It would be interesting to have someone like Martinez involved with England, whether on a part-time basis with the Under-21s, or with the full team after Roy (Hodgson) has retired."

Speaking to Press Association Sport, a naturally flattered Martinez replied: "It's a surprising comment, but a great compliment coming from Harry, someone I really admire, (with) his career.

"As a football man he has been very different. If you look back at his time at West Ham, he was a manager then who knew how to get the best out of the foreign players, which was quite rare.

"He would be quite flexible in how he would get his teams playing in a different way, so I've always admired his achievements."

Martinez, though, has more immediate pressing matters on his mind, starting with tomorrow's game - where a Wigan win would push QPR a step closer to the drop.

Although Martinez has often been linked with a move to a big-name club, it is the first time he has been mentioned in the same breath as a national appointment.

"It's so difficult for me to think of something like that right now because we face the most significant seven weeks of Wigan's history," added Martinez.

"I will never distract myself from thinking about personal positions and the future.

"Of course, football presents great opportunities to try different things in big tournaments.

"But at the moment, at my age and with the energy I have, I need to be working on a daily basis at club level.

"For me, it's about Wigan and the next eight games in the league, and the rare chance of enjoying Wembley."

With the clash with the Lions a week away, it would be understandable for Martinez's players to have one eye on that game and take their focus off of QPR.

Martinez, however, is adamant that is not going to happen as he said: "I accept it could be a distraction for the fans.

"But the players know they can only get to Wembley if they perform well against QPR.

"That competitive edge, the reality of controlling your own future has been very important in the way the players have been training, the intensity of our performances.

"So, if anything, it has added a high standard in everything we've been doing, so I don't see it as a distraction at all.

"It will only be a distraction if we get injuries as we've a small group of players."

For QPR, striker Callum McManaman has fully recovered from an ankle problem, with midfielder Fraser Fyvie the only new addition to the casualty list with "a knock" Martinez claims will keep him out for seven to 10 days.


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