WIGAN BOSS ROBERTO Martinez has hailed his side securing their Premier League status for another season as an “incredible achievement”.
Martinez’s side sealed Blackburn’s relegation to the Championship as well as their own safety with a 1-0 win at Ewood Park on Monday.
And the 38-year-old credited his squad’s mental strength following a run of five wins in six games which has pulled them clear of the drop.
“It was an incredible achievement, in the manner that we had to cope with the mental side today, having to play, it was a tough game, for the players it was a tough event to get involved and I thought we coped really well,” Martinez said.
“We weren’t our normal fluent self, but you have to give credit to Blackburn, I thought they were brave playing with three strikers, that made it a difficult game for us.
To keep a clean sheet pleases me more than any other aspect of the performance, to be able to hold the nerve and not panic shows a real mature side of the squad.
“Eight seasons in the Premier League is something remarkable for our football club, I think it’s time to celebrate.”
Though Martinez was delighted with his side’s achievements, he said now wants to turn Wigan into a club which does not have to fight for survival.
“Now is the time to look back at this season and see the remarkable achievements we’ve had,” he said.
“It’s been, since the window closed, the best form I’ve seen from Wigan Athletic at this level.
“We need to kick on and make sure we can make the step up, and not be a team fighting for relegation.
On the other side of the coin, Blackburn’s 11 year stay in the Premier League is now over, but manager Steve Kean insists he is still best man to lead the club despite seeing them relegated.
“I’m a big believer in my own ability and the guys I’ve got in the dressing room, each and every one of them is devastated but I can’t fault their commitment,” Kean said.
“I’m convinced we can build a side to move us forward again.
“Yeah I do (believe I’ll still be here). I can’t control (the fans reactions). We’ve not mentioned what’s happened tonight but I’m confident we’ll have a plan in place to build a squad that will bounce us back immediately.”
“I think we need to try and keep the majority of the squad together to make sure from the first game of next season we’re in a position to get back into the division we should be in.
“We have to build a squad as quickly as possible, the division below is a very tough league to get out of and we need a squad that can be competitive. That’s the first thing I’ll be doing tomorrow morning.”