MANCHESTER United boss Sir Alex Ferguson does not expect to see Wigan in the Premier League’s relegation zone in May.
Latics remain in the bottom three after the 5-0 Boxing Day drubbing at Old Trafford.
But the United boss believes Latics showed enough in their recent resurgence – including deserved draws against both Liverpool and Chelsea – that they will retain their top-flight status.
“Wigan will stay up,” said Ferguson. “I would not put them as one of my relegation teams.
“Every year they dig out results no-one would expect of them, particularly against the bigger teams.
“Last year they lost 6-0 at home to Chelsea. This year they played excellent football and could have won the game.”
Recruited from Swansea in 2009 on the back of the free-flowing style that brought promotion to the south Wales outfit in his second season as manager, Martinez has remained loyal to his footballing principles despite experiencing some very difficult periods.
And that has earned him praise from the United boss.
“Wigan were terrific against Chelsea,” said Ferguson.
“Their possession was really good. It says a lot for the philosophy of their manager that they continue to play good football irrespective of what position of the league they are.”