Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday May 24 2011
Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan has hailed current Latics boss Roberto Martinez has the best he has worked with during his time in football.
Whelan, who starred for Blackburn Rovers in the 1950`s and 60`s, says that the young Latics boss is honest, hard working and strict, but he has clearly gained the respect and admiration of his players.
Now with the Latics gearing up for a seventh successive Premier League campaign, Martinez has identified European qualification as the next step for the club and Whelan fears that he may end up losing his talented manager to one of the Continents big boys.
Speaking to the media Whelan said: 'I have to say in all my playing days and all my days as a chairman, Roberto is the best manager I have ever worked with'
'He's totally honest, totally up front. He's the same with the players. He makes them work hard and is strict with them on certain things, especially drinking, which I agree with him. I never had my first drink until I was 27. Like him, I believe football and alcohol don't mix.
'My biggest problem in the next couple of years will be: Can I keep him? I'll keep him this summer, I have no doubt, but he is destined for bigger things. There is no doubt in my mind that one day he will go to one of the top European clubs. He is something special and he has something different. You just have to see the way he works, he is so calm and cool.'
'We've got a great young team, the youngest in the Premier League. They're a great set of lads. The spirit is never-ending. Roberto is confident he can finish in the top half next season and I've no doubt he can do it because the youngsters coming through are quality players.
'We can add to them, but Roberto doesn't spend money foolishly. He's a wise manager and I trust him implicitly. Together we are a great team.'
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Date:Tuesday May 24 2011
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