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12 November 2018

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FA Cup winning manager and Latics icon Roberto Martinez on Dave Whelan, David Sharpe and Paul Cook on the latest episode of our podcast, Latics Listen.

  • Latics Listen Podcast: Belgium national team manager Roberto Martinez.
  • FA Cup winning boss reflects on 23 years of Whelan family ownership at Wigan Athletic.
  • Martinez delighted to see how well Paul Cook is doing for Latics.

Speaking on the latest episode of the club's official podcast, Latics Listen, we caught up with FA Cup winning manager and current Belgium national team boss Roberto Martinez.

Catch up with Roberto from 42.40 on the player below, or read an excerpt from the interview.

RM on 23 years of Whelan family ownership

"It was a very emotional visit back to the DW Stadium for me, but it was emotional for everyone for all of the right reasons.

"It was a celebration to look back at the last 23 campaigns with Dave Whelan and his family in charge of Latics.

"Dave Whelan is an incredible figure and was the heart and soul of the vision for this football club.

"He has provided unbelievable memories for everyone attached to Wigan Athletic, memories that the supporters will never forget.

"The way Dave Whelan and his family controlled the football club was exemplary, particularly in the last few years as well with David Sharpe as chairman.

"They set the level for what everyone attached to the club would like to see for the rest of our lives.

"Without the vision of Dave Whelan I would never have made it to the British game.

"I became attached to the ideas Dave Whelan brought to the club at the time, wanting to play football in a particular way, having the experience of being a football player and wanting to build a new stadium for the people of Wigan to enjoy.

"The legacy is undoubtedly something that will always be talked about when we speak about Wigan Athletic, with European football, a mjaor trophy and eight strong years in the Premier League.

"Young generations of football supporters in Wigan can be inspired by the legacy and the whole town should be proud of its football club.

"It's something we should all treasure as Latics fans. The experience of Wigan Athletic through the Whelan family has set incredible standards and ways of dealing with a football club."

RM on David Sharpe

"Probably because of David Sharpe's age he wasn't given the recognition or credit that he deserves sometimes.

"It wasn't an easy job for him to take over from such an influential figure, but he brought a dynamic approach and experience that he accumulated from working in different departments of the club and by seeing the growth of the club first hand from a very young age.

"He had to make very tough decisions with regards to managers, but he achieved two promotions.

"David made some very good financial decisions and always found the right answer for what Wigan Athletic needed.

"It could have been dangerous at the time, but David brought stability and an understanding of what was needed."

RM on Paul Cook

"The club is in a great place now with Paul Cook in charge. He's an exceptional leader to have at the club with a very talented group of players and an incredible togetherness that represents what Wigan Athletic is.

"There is an incredible infrastructure at the club with the two training grounds and the stadium.

"Paul Cook is the perfect person to cope with tough moments of doubt or adversity that defeat can bring. The way that he has constructed the current squad over the last few seasons is admirable.

"It's not easy to get promoted from League One and still have the strength, belief and psychological approach to be successful in the Championship.

"What Paul Cook is giving is a real stability for the future and very good platform to build new success."

RM on upcoming UEFA Nations League matches for Belgium

"I'm working towards the two games that we have in the UEFA Nations League, so it's a really busy, but excited period of time for me.

"The Nations League is a competition that football has needed for a long time. At international level it's important to play teams in your area of the world rankings. It allows you to develop a way of playing and a good group of players to be competitive.

"I think it's been a real success. As with any new competition it will take a little bit of time to tweak certain aspects, but we've seen fantastic games from the top 12 nations in Europe.

"We've also seen really competitive games in every area of the world rankings within Europe, from Gibraltar winning back-to-back games for the first time in their history, to Andorra going through a good spell.

"It gives meaning to international football for everyone and it allows team to be rewarded for good results. The Nations League has the added importance of promotion and relegation."

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