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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 16:37 UK

Martinez pleads for forgiveness

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Interview: Former Swansea City manager Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez has asked Swansea City fans for forgiveness after leaving to take over as manager of Wigan.

The Spaniard, 35, has been criticised by some supporters for walking out, having previously said he would have to be forced out.

"I'm only asking fans to forgive me and understand me because it's a decision I had to make," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"Probably not many people would understand, but in time it will settle a little bit more."

He added: "I wanted that [to be forced out] to happen but obviously there are situations that develop in certain ways and you need to make a decision."

"I would just say to the fans to try to look back at the last two-and-a-half years - I gave absolutely everything."

Martinez first joined the Swans in January 2003 as a player and installed as captain as they beat the drop from the Football League four months later.

In 2005, the Swans won promotion from League Two and 12 months later, they lost on penalties to Barnsley in the League One play-off final.

606: DEBATE
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Martinez was released that summer but returned nine months later to take up his first managerial job - succeeding Kenny Jackett, the man who ended his stay at the Liberty Stadium.

In his first full season in charge, Martinez led Swansea to the League One title, winning it by 10 points.

And last season he took them to within six points of the Championship play-offs in the first season back at that level for 24 years.

Martinez said it "would be an understatement" to say his decision to leave Swansea was a difficult one.

But he insists the move was a football decision and not a financial one and attempted to soften the blow by saying Swansea would benefit from his exit.

"My contract has been bought out now and I think the compensation is going to help the football club to get into the next level," said the Spaniard.

"I just want to let the fans know my feelings towards Swansea City will never change."

But Martinez added the lure of managing in the Premier League and for the club where he started his football in the UK was too much.

"Wigan is a football club where I started a relationship back in 1995," he said.

"It's a club that allowed me to come to the British game and we shared huge experiences. Since then, we've had a very special relationship.

"Now to be able to manage the football club in the Premier League at only 35 shows a huge commitment from them and is a great challenge to be able to take."



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see also
Wigan to target Europe - Martinez
16 Jun 09 |  Wigan
Six on Swansea manager shortlist
16 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Wigan finally land boss Martinez
15 Jun 09 |  Wigan
Boothroyd interested in Swans job
13 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Speed in line for Swansea talks
09 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Exeter keen to hang onto Tisdale
10 Jun 09 |  Exeter
Life after Roberto Martinez
08 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Bruce named as Sunderland manager
03 Jun 09 |  Sunderland
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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