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Proud Latics boss says everyone had write off his club in the relegation battle and dedicates today’s win to a fan who died last week after a heart attack

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez compared Sunday’s dramatic victory over Stoke to secure Premier League survival to ‘winning a trophy’.

Martinez has guided un-fancied Wigan to top flight safety once again and says his team was not going to take any risks in their quest for survival.

“We had to win. We always planned to win the game. We always planned to find a way to hurt Stoke,” Martinez told reporters.

“The other results, I wanted to be informed of the situation because if we had to take the extra risks we would have done.

Survival for Wigan is seen as a massive achievement though Martinez was keen to point out the strength of all the relegated sides.

“This season you have to remember the teams that have gone down, I don't think they are bad sides and they don't deserve to go down.

“39 points to get relegated is very harsh. Any team could have a very strong case to deserve to be in the Premier League.

“As it stands, small details and small margins go with you or against you. The teams who got relegated were a real credit to the league and we have to remember that.

“We've been in the bottom three most of the season. We've been written off by everyone.

“It could have been all too easy for players to find an excuse to not be involved, but it's been the opposite, everyone's been desperate to get involved. I'm extremely proud.”

Martinez will receive praise from many for this seasons achievement though he was keen to focus the attention on his players.

“It's a huge, huge achievement, but football is not about managers, it's about players. I'm just really proud for them that they achieved it.

“They had to get back-to-back wins and had to win at Stoke, where they haven't lost or haven't failed to score at home in 2011.

“The achievement has been phenomenal; it's like winning a trophy. We had some sad news about George, a fan who had a heart attack last week and sadly passed away, and we want to dedicate this victory to him.

“It's been a real sad moment, we all thought he had recovered from the heart attack against West Ham and it shows the emotion football brings as part of your life. We want to dedicate this moment to him.”


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