Martinez aiming to improve

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez is hopeful that his side can avoid a repeat of last season's relegation fight and move up towards the top half of the Premier League table next term.

The Latics finished in 16th place last term and avoided the drop by only six points and Martinez is aiming higher in his second campaign at the club.

He told the Evening Post:"If you look at clubs like Birmingham, Fulham, Stoke, Blackburn, they had top-12 finishes last season.

"It is quite clear that, in terms of finances and history, it is very difficult to compete with the top seven clubs in the Premier League.

"But after that I feel the other positions are available to teams with a two, three, four-year plan.

"With clear, long-term planning you can develop as a club, meaning Wigan Athletic no longer has to be a club just focused on surviving.

"It's clear that last year was going to be about surviving, because there was a change of idea and a change of style of play.

"We've come through that now and it's time to move on to the next level."

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