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Going Down

Wigan do not deserve relegation, insists Martinez

Martinez’s side, who clinched glory in the FA Cup final, saw their relegation confirmed last night.

WIGAN MANAGER Roberto Martinez believes a a defensive injury crisis is to blame for his team’s relegation from the Premier League.

Martinez’s side, who clinched glory in the FA Cup final with a 1-0 win over Manchester City on Saturday, saw their relegation confirmed after falling to a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal last night.

A double from Lukas Podolski and goals from Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey proved too much for the DW Stadium outfit despite Shaun Maloney’s first-half free-kick. The Spaniard felt his side did not deserve to suffer the ignominy of relegation but accepted that they had conceded too many goals throughout the season, brought on by too much chopping and changing.

He told BBC Sport: “I never expected this. I know we were in a difficult position, but the players are an incredible bunch and they don’t deserve this.

“It’s a tough day for the football club. We had an incredible eight years in the Premier League and we need to build for the future. You look at the stats and they tell you we conceded far too many goals. Going forward we were magnificent but the number of injuries we’ve had in the back line is something I’ve never seen before.

“You keep making changes at the back and you suffer. We gave points away and that’s why we are where we are.”

Martinez had hoped his side’s cup heroics would give their fight for survival momentum, but despite witnessing that wish go unfulfilled, the former Swansea boss insists the club has a bright future.

“The FA Cup gave us a bit of hope of finishing the season on a high. It gave us a difference sense of confidence,” he added. “It’s great to win the FA Cup. It’s an achievement that will live forever. The relegation is something we can rectify. There have been many great things over the last few years.

“The club is on a fantastic financial footing. We are stronger than ever. It’s important we make our fans really proud. They supported us like they always do. It’s a difficult time. It’s a time to look forward to the future.”

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