Martinez: Wigan should have been ruthless, not toothless

WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez believes his side would not be in a relegation dogfight if they had a greater degree of ruthlessness.

Towards the end of his first season in charge of Wigan, Martinez is not surprised to see the Latics one place and four points above the drop zone.

The Spaniard always knew that in stamping his own mark and bringing in new players, it would be an uphill struggle for survival.

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Starting with tonight's home clash with Portsmouth, Martinez has just five matches to spare the Latics from joining Pompey in the Coca-Cola Championship next season.

"The Premier League is a ruthless one because of the quality of the teams. It is the best in world football, and that is challenging in itself," Martinez said.

"So I knew it was going to be hard, a test for not just the players and the staff, but everyone at Wigan Athletic. At any club, when you have such a big turnaround in the playing staff, then it is going to be tough.

"I always said my first year would be the hardest because we are setting standards and laying foundations for what we are going to do in the future.

"We are where we expected to be. I'm not surprised. Now we have to finish the season as strong as we can, making sure we reach our aim of staying in the Premier League."

Martinez added: "The performances have been a lot better than the points we have. We've enjoyed real highs, such as against Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool, beating the latter two for the first time in our history, which for me spoke volumes.

"Looking at others, with a little more know-how, ruthlessness, of knowing what's needed, we could have converted those into points and not been in the situation we now find ourselves."