Martinez - Staying up is vital

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ROBERTO Martinez admits staying in the Premier League remains ‘absolutely vital’ to Wigan Athletic’s long-term planning.

Latics remain rooted in the bottom three after Tuesday night’s disappointing home defeat to Aston Villa, having surrendered their game in hand on their relegation rivals.

With just 14 games of the season left, it will require a huge upturn in fortunes to prevent a return to the Championship after six seasons among the elite.

The Wigan boss admits the club’s very future is at stake over the next four months, but is confident his team have it in them to turn around a wretched run of one win in 11 matches.

“What is important is that we know what we are doing in the short term and also the long term,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“We have got clear ideas for both, which is why we have invested so much in young players who will benefit the club for many years.

“We don’t have the money that other clubs have.

“However, we are very, very strong in our plans.

“And it is absolutely vital to those plans that we stay up – for many reasons.

“Financially there is a huge difference between being in the Premier League and the Championship, and we are not contemplating anything other than getting the points we need from the next 14 games to make sure we stay up.

“Once we do that, we will get the rewards of investing in young players and on a style of play that is going to allow us to realise our ambitions.”