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The owner is optimistic that the Latics can continue the fine form they showed at the end of last term and push for qualification to the Europa League in the upcoming campaign

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is targeting a top eight-finish for his side this season, adding that anything is possible under Roberto Martinez.

The Latics owner fended off significant interest in the team’s manager over the summer and is confident the Spaniard can improve on last season’s 15th-place finish.

Wigan have yet to better the 10th-place finish they achieved in their debut season in the Premier League under Paul Jewell in 2005-06, but Whelan is hopeful that Martinez can mastermind an upturn in the club’s fortunes if he can once again unlock the impressive end-of-season form that steered the club clear of relegation last season.

“The ambition this year is, we've got a little bit bored of just staying in the league, we're looking for a top eight finish somewhere along the line. Roberto is mad keen that we finish in the top eight," Whelan told Sky Sports News.

“If we can start off like we finished last year, we played some supreme football for the last eight or ten games last year. It was pure joy to watch Wigan Athletic play from back to front, so hopefully we can start off like we finished.”

Wigan have seen Hugo Rodallega and Mohamed Diame, among others, leave over the summer, but the core of the squad remains intact - along with the additions of Ivan Ramis, Arouna Kone and loan-signing Ryo Miyaichi.

And if the Latics can carry over the form that saw them beat Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in the last two months of the previous campaign, then Whelan believes Wigan’s target for the season should extend well beyond simply surviving.

He continued: “We both feel that we can do well in this league this year.

“The form and the style of play we showed in the last two months of last season I thought was absolutely outstanding and it's the same team basically, I'm sure they can play in the same way.

“They're determined. We've got a determined bunch of lads here and playing under Roberto, we're a very, very happy and successful club, I love being here.”