Martinez appreciates Whelan support

PA Sport

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes the club has a bright future because chairman Dave Whelan has stuck with him "through thick and thin".

Martinez has endured a difficult two-and-a-half years in charge at the DW Stadium but his success in avoiding relegation with a small club attracted overtures from Aston Villa in the summer. The Spaniard resisted them to stay with Latics, whom he first joined as a player in the old Third Division in 1995, and Whelan rewarded him with a new contract.

Whelan, a former professional footballer himself, has since continued to back the 38-year-old throughout a difficult start to the current Barclays Premier League campaign and Martinez told FIFA.com: "Big changes take a long time and the chairman understood that and he supported me through thick and thin."

He added: "Now we have the rewards, two years later we have an average group that has played a lot of games in the Premier League but with a very young age, and that gives you real good assets in the football club.

"But I think the way to play now is quite established in our football club, and to do that you need to be a chairman that has been involved on the playing field - not just in football - but on the playing field.

"He's played in every division, he's been a chairman in every division and that's a huge strength for any manager to have that relationship with a chairman, that he understands the game, he understands the footballer, he can see if you're going in the right direction or not beyond the results.

"Sometimes we are a bit fickle - we get carried away with good results and we get carried away negatively with bad results, and he's got that calm presence of understanding if we are on the right path or not."

Wigan, after collecting just five points in their opening 11 Premier League games, have lifted some of the gloom surrounding their position with their last two performances.

Latics ended a run of eight successive defeats with a draw against Blackburn - when they conceded one controversial goal and an injury-time equaliser - before coming from behind to beat Sunderland on Saturday.

Those results have at least allowed Wigan to climb off the bottom of the table.

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