Martinez praises supporters who he says are key to promotion
Roberto Martinez says Sunday’s final game of the season against Aston Villa summed up the team’s entire campaign in one match.
Latics were the better side for the majority, playing with confidence and looking the team most likely to win the game, but unable to capitalise on good opportunities and conceding avoidable goals at the back.
After the game, Martinez said: "I was disappointed because we wanted to win the football game and we failed to do that.
"I thought at times we were unplayable - our movement on the ball, our attacking play, was fantastic.
"But we let ourselves down in both penalty boxes - they had one shot in the second half and it ends up in the back of the net.
"In many ways that is a reflection of the season as a whole.
"I also thought we lacked a cool head in their box to make the right decision, and we didn't react quickly enough when we hit the bar in the second half.
"It's just little things that mean you get the full rewards for your performance.
"On the plus side, we didn't cave in after going a goal down early on and that is down to the personality of the team which is incredible.”
Over 23,000 attended the game, making it the biggest attendance of the season at the DW Stadium, and the lap of appreciation after the final whistle highlighted the true value of the club to the gaffer, and the foundation upon which a promotion push must be built next season:
He said: "There was a real sense of celebration at the end, and I have to say the fans have been incredible.
"They have always been there for us, and a massive factor in us winning the FA Cup which will be there for ever.
"Our fans keep telling us that we can correct our league status, and they are right to say that.
"The disappointment for me is that this team doesn't deserve to be in the position we are.
"For one reason or another we have had a lot of things go against us, but the support has always been incredible.
"There is more desire than ever to get Wigan Athletic back where we belong - the Premier League.
"And we will correct the league status. It's not a problem.”
With nothing at stake in terms of league positioning on the day, Martinez was able to experiment somewhat with his team, and handed a home league debut to Roman Golobart as well as Premier League debuts to Fraser Fyvie and Edu Campabadal, players he believe have a big part to play in the club’s future:
"As a football club we have always emphasised the need to develop good youngsters.
"We have seen it with Callum McManaman, who is an outstanding footballer, and there is another group of young players who are ready to help the first team.
"It's important we keep doing that and keep giving them chances. Next year will be packed full of opportunities, and the squad has to be prepared for that.”