Martinez nets Sammon and holds on to N’Zog

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ROBERTO Martinez believes Wigan Athletic showed ‘a real statement of intent’ by holding on to their prize assets in the January transfer window.

Despite the usual feverish speculation, Latics managed to stave off interest in their big guns including Charles N’Zogbia, who was the subject of two unsuccessful bids from Newcastle late on Monday evening.

With Tom Cleverley staying until the end of the campaign and Conor Sammon joining from Kilmarnock on deadline day, Martinez is in good spirits – despite seeing his side drop two more points at West Brom on Tuesday.

And the Wigan boss believes everything is in place for his side to haul themselves away from the drop zone – starting this weekend against Blackburn.

“I was not so much relieved as extremely pleased with how we came out of the transfer window,” Martinez told the Evening Post.

“We said before the window we’d be guided by the injury situation, and it’s a major boost to have the likes of Franco di Santo, James McCarthy and Victor Moses back in the fold.

“In addition, we also managed to keep all our of important players at the club including Tom Cleverley, as well as adding a real prospect for the future in Conor Sammon.

“All in all, we can view the window as a real success – and it’s a real statement of intent for the fans.

“In the past, perhaps they’ve been a little bit disappointed at losing key players at the wrong time, and it should give them great satisfaction and pride to see what we have done this time round.

“It also shows that the players we have here wanted to stay and really care about the future of Wigan Athletic.

“We now have to transfer all of that positivity into our results, and translate our good performances into points on the board.”

Martinez is also convinced he has unearthed a future star in young Sammon.

“Conor is a really exciting prospect – his progress in the last six months at Kilmarnock has been sensational,” the Spaniard added.

“In my eyes he is a future Republic of Ireland international, and we found the ideal moment to bring him in to the club.

“We need to be patient with him, because the gap between the SPL and the Premier League is huge.

“We’ll allow him all the time he needs to settle in, though, and hopefully he’ll fulfil his huge potential here at Wigan.”

Guinea skipper Pascal Feindouno will not be getting a permanent contract at Wigan after his recent trial.

Feindouno, who was a free agent after a three-year spell in Qatar, did not impress the management sufficiently and has joined Monaco, currently languishing second-bottom in the French league.

Hamilton have snapped up youngster Jon Routledge after his release from Wigan.

Routledge spent time on loan with the SPL outfit in the first half of the season, and has re-joined them until the end of this term.

Accies boss Billy Reid said: “Jon did well for me in the first part of the season.

“I think he really liked it here, both in Scotland and as part of our squad, so I’m delighted he’s back.”