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Martinez bats away Liverpool talk

Wigan Athletic fans prompt the team to stay on and build during the Barclays Premier League match at the DW Stadium and (below) Roberto Martinez, who has been linked with Liverpool

Wigan Athletic fans prompt the team to stay on and build during the Barclays Premier League match at the DW Stadium and (below) Roberto Martinez, who has been linked with Liverpool

ROBERTO Martinez admits he is focused only on ensuring Wigan Athletic take their fine form into next season – not eyeing up a summer exit.

Martinez yesterday saw Latics finish the campaign with a third win in a row for the first time under his stewardship, just hours after waking up to headlines suggesting he is being lined up by Liverpool this summer.

The Spaniard, who turned down a move to Aston Villa last summer, admitted to being flattered at the link.

But he played a textbook straight bat to suggestions he would be open to an Anfield approach.

“There is another manager in that club, no?” he replied when asked about Liverpool, before joking that Barcelona were also in the hunt for his signature.

“When you get stories linking clubs with your players or in this case with a manager, it must be because you have done something right.

“We cannot control speculation and, I am not going to lie to you, I like the speculation.

“I see it as a real compliment. Speculation will follow a team - you get good speculation and bad speculation.

“The speculation I don’t like is when it suggests you are going to lose your job after a couple of defeats.

“I am proud and happy that the club are attracting a lot of good headlines and stories.

“We always need to be prepared that whatever happens is for the good of the club.

“We need to make sure we carry on with the progress we have been making in the last few years, not just on the pitch but off it.

“That is all I am bothered about - working hard and making sure the chairman is a proud man when he assesses his football club.”

Martinez also revealed centre-back Antolin Alcaraz missed the game after pulling a thigh muscle in training.

The injury would have sidelined the Paraguayan for up to six weeks had it happened during the season.

But Martinez does not expect the problem to affect Alcaraz’s preparations for next term.

“It’s a shame Antolin wasn’t able to finish the season the way he would have liked,” Martinez added.

 

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