Wigan can finish in the top half this season, declares chairman Whelan

The Latics supremo is confident that manager Roberto Martinez can guide his team into the Premier League top 10, despite the club not having done so for six consecutive campaigns
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is backing Roberto Martinez to lead his team to a top-half finish in the Premier League this term.

The Latics have yet to match the 10th-placed finish of their debut top-flight campaign seven seasons ago and have finished below 14th in five of the last six years.

But, after a bright start in which the club have picked up 11 points from their first 11 games, Whelan is convinced that a higher position is on the cards.

"We've played very well in all of the matches," he told BBC Radio Manchester. "We've played better than our results show but we're doing all right.

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"We're on 11 points and we were nowhere near that last year. We want to finish in the top half and I think we will."

The 75-year-old bought the club in 1995 and helped lead them from the fifth tier of English football to the Premier League whilst helping fund a new stadium.

And the Wigan-born businessman described the journey as "a fairy tale".

He continued: "I've enjoyed every single moment of it and I still sometimes wake up and think: 'Have we really done this?'

"We've come from the old Fourth Division and got into the Premier League and we've been there now for eight seasons. It's been a fairy tale.

"When I bought Wigan Athletic, everybody asked what my ambition was. I said: 'To get to the Premier League'. We've made it and we've made our mark in the Premier League."