Martinez sticks by decision to snub Villa

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Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez says his relationship with chairman Dave Whelan was behind his decision to reject the advances of Aston Villa last summer.

The former Swansea boss endured a difficult 2010/11 campaign with the Latics, narrowly avoiding relegation before seeing star midfielder Charles N’Zogbia depart to join the Villa Park outfit.

After Gerard Houllier’s short stint as Villa manager came to an end due to health reasons, Martinez was believed to be the main candidate to take over the reigns in the Midlands.

Despite the obvious attraction to manage a team with more funds, Martinez says that the right thing to do was to commit to Wigan and show loyalty to Whelan.

“When I arrived we talked about the three-year project and we felt that, after two years, we have had another successful season and there are many things behind the scenes that can be done,” he told Yahoo!

“I never felt it was the right time for Wigan Athletic to change their manager.

“But more than anything I thought the chairman was so supportive of myself and so loyal, it was my time to be able to show him that I was not going to break that agreement we had of the three-year relationship, and it was a very simple decision from that point of view.

"It was best for Wigan Athletic at that time and a unique opportunity to show my chairman the loyalty and support that he has been giving me in the last few years."

The former Wigan midfielder, who made more than 200 appearances for the club from 1995-2001, explained how the support he receives from Whelan differs to other chairmen and owners of different clubs

"I have always said that I am very honoured and privileged to be the manager of Wigan, but then to be able to work with a chairman that has got football knowledge first-hand.

"He has been a player and has played in every single division and a chairman in every single division. He has a real football understanding that inspires you with his successful touch.

"Its more than that, it is someone who allows you to work towards the long-term ambition of the football club, and in that respect his support and loyalty is a key element in our success at Wigan and I always appreciate it."

For more insight from Roberto Martinez and other leading managers, plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights, visit www.yahoo.co.uk/sport

By Matt Maltby