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Football | Barclays Premier League

Wigan would not block Martinez exit



Wigan manager Roberto Martinez would been given the green light to leave the club if, as chairman Dave Whelan expects, the Spaniard is offered a top job in Europe.

Martinez's side continued their impressive form of late with a 4-0 rout of Newcastle on Saturday – a result which dented the Magpies' Champions League hopes but boosted Wigan's chances of beating the drop with two games remaining.

Whelan believes the side's recent performances will have big clubs from around Europe eyeing up his Spanish boss.

And while he is not keen to see the 38-year-old leave, Whelan said he would accept Martinez's departure when it comes.

"He's doing a magnificent job," Whelan told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek. "I've always said Roberto will go to one of the top clubs in Europe and when that time comes he will leave Wigan with my blessing.

"He's just a brilliant manager and he will get one of the top jobs in Europe.

"I don't want to lose Roberto but it is inevitable he will climb the ladder."

At one stage this season, Wigan lost eight matches in a row, and seemed near certainties for the drop.

But Saturday's win put them three points clear of the drop zone going into their final two matches against fellow strugglers Blackburn and already-relegated Wolves.

Whelan insisted that even during the toughest times this season, he never had any doubts that Martinez was the right man to save them, and that the fans were on board too.

"(Managers) need support too," he said. "He got support from the chairman and he got support from the fans too. We've not had one fan crying for his dismissal and every fan in Wigan has been behind Roberto.

"Hopefully now we can stay in the Premier League for another season."

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