Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has been speaking to Yahoo!’s The Dugout this week in an exclusive interview, I am delighted to say that here at Vital Latics we have been given permission by Yahoo! to use the transcript from the interview in this article.
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
It has been a tricky start to the season but has the form of Ali Al Habsi been a real plus for you?
RM- There have been many plusses for us, we could go on a long while talking about the results we have had. We are in the middle of a really negative run and we have to change that. Sometimes you get into the wrong dynamic and it really affects you but there has been many good things – especially individual and although Ali is one of them I think others have performed well. It is a matter of getting that positive result that will give us a little bit of momentum and a good run of form.
I feel it is now a key moment in our season to do that. It`s true that a couple of players have taken responsibility for the big roles which had to be filled when Tom Cleverley and Charles N`Zogbia left and there has been a two or three individuals that have taken their football to a whole new level. Now it is a matter of being collectively a good team and a team that can get a quick win that will allow us to fulfil our potential that I feel is there so we can achieve our aim this season.
How does the support that Dave Whelan offers differ to other chairman`s and owners of different clubs?
RM – I have always said that I very honoured and privileged to be the manger of Wigan but then to be able to work with a chairman that has got football knowledge first-hand. He has been a player and has played in every single division and a chairman in every single division.
He has a real football understanding that inspires you with his successful touch. Its more than that, it is someone who allows you to work towards the long-term ambition of the football club and in that respect his support and loyalty is a key element in our success at Wigan and I always appreciate that. In the summer it was a chance to pay him back.
That was obviously when you turned down the opportunity to talk to Aston Villa, was that because of your strong relationship with Dave and the feeling you have with the club?
RM – When I arrived we talked about the three-year project and we felt that after two years we have had another successful season there are many things behind the scenes that can be done. I never felt it was the right time for Wigan Athletic to change their manager. But more than anything I thought the chairman was so supportive of myself and so loyal, it was my time to be able to show him that I was going to break that agreement we had of 3-three year relationship and it was a very simple decision from that point of view; it was best for Wigan Athletic at that time and a unique opportunity to show my chairman their loyalty and support that he has been giving me in the last few years
You managed Swansea to a league title but the challenge at Wigan is different, does your approach to man management changes for these different scenarios?
RM – Not necessarily, no. I like to manage players by aspiration. I never believe in managing players through fear or trying to, in a way, be on top of a player to try to perform or try to be as be professional as he can be.
As a football club you cannot rely on footballers and they cannot take their professionalism into a different level, therefore you cannot rely on them. I have been very fortunate to work with players who aspire to be as best that they can be and with that they carry the football club on their shoulders.
That`s my ideal scenario; to be with every single player, with the same aspiration for the whole group, which is win football games for Wigan Athletic. That`s something to try to achieve.
A massive thanks to Yahoo! for allowing us to reproduce their interview
For more insight from Roberto Martinez and other leading managers plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights go to www.yahoo.co.uk/sport
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