ROBERTO Martinez admits he owes a huge debt of gratitude to chairman Dave Whelan after Charles N’Zogbia inspired Latics to a crucial 3-1 victory at fellow strugglers Blackpool.
N’Zogbia was the subject of two late bids from his former club Newcastle minutes before the end of the January transfer window, and the Frenchman showed his value to the side with a man-of-the-match display against the Seasiders.
After setting up Hugo Rodallega’s third-minute opener, N’Zogbia scored the second goal himself on the stroke of half-time as Latics gained a stranglehold they never relinquished.
And the Wigan boss believes the club are reaping the rewards for turning down the megabucks on offer from the Toon.
“We have to give credit to the chairman for that,” Martinez said.
“We said at the beginning of the season that we wanted to build something for the future, and to do that you need to sign young players – because we are not in a position where we can compete financially with many other clubs.
“We did that by investing in young, talented players, but then it was important to keep the experienced players within that group – the likes of Rodallega, N’Zogbia and Maynor Figueroa.
“That was massive, and the chairman knows that.”
When asked if the Frenchman was likely to still be at the club next season, Martinez said: “It’s impossible to tell right now.
“But what is quite clear is that Charlie is a player that everyone loves to watch, because he has got sensational raw talent.
“He is a huge asset as we all know and all I want is for Charlie to enjoy his football in every game that he plays.
“For me it is a compliment when people say other clubs are attracted to our players - and it’s not just one there, if you look at James McCarthy and Hugo Rodallega as well as Charles.
“They are very special players and all I want is for them to keep on developing and helping Wigan Athletic along the way.”
Martinez vowed his team will “give their lives” in their efforts to beat the drop after leapfrogging their opponents into 17th place.
Wigan have five more fixtures to secure their safety and the Spaniard said: “Before the game we had 18 points to play for and every point is extra significant.
“Now we have got 15 points to play for and I can guarantee you that we are going to give our lives to achieve our aim and carry on with the dream, which is Wigan Athletic in the Premier League.”
Martinez was particularly delighted to see his side take maximum points with a display he felt built on their efforts in last week’s 1-0 defeat at Chelsea and the 0-0 draw with Tottenham before that.
“I said it before that I felt we played really against Chelsea and Spurs and it was disappointing not to get a win out of that,” Martinez said. “But today I felt that with the way Blackpool played, we had to be even better tactically than against the last two teams and I was extremely proud of the tactical awareness of the players.
“I thought we coped with Blackpool really well.
“Obviously we are disappointed to have conceded the goal, but overall we looked a real threat, worked really hard and we looked like a team.”