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Page last updated at 07:47 GMT, Tuesday, 26 October 2010 08:47 UK

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez proud of Swansea legacy

Roberto Martinez
The two clubs in Roberto Martinez's life collide in the Carling Cup on Tuesday

Roberto Martinez is sure foundations he helped create at Swansea City will one day result in top-flight promotion.

Martinez left his job as Swans boss in 2009 to take up the managerial role at Wigan - and is confident his old club will join him in the Premier League.

Martinez's Wigan will now go head-to-head with Swansea on Tuesday for a place in the Carling Cup quarter-final.

"I feel what I did at Swansea will help a little bit to get them into the Premier League eventually," he said.

Swansea appointed former captain and midfielder Martinez to replace Kenny Jackett as their manager in February 2007 as the Spaniard took up his first managerial role.

Roberto Martinez was appointed Swansea boss by chairman Huw Jenkins
I don't know what the reaction of the fans will be. But whatever it will be, I will just accept it and it will not change my feelings towards Swansea

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez

Martinez inspired the Swans to the League One title in his first full season in charge, sealing a return to English football's second-tier after a 24-year absence.

Swansea then narrowly missed out on a Championship play-off spot the following season.

Martinez also earned universal plaudits for his attractive and stylish football employed at the Liberty Stadium, and vowed publicly he would only leave Swansea if he was "forced out".

But he took the vacant Wigan Athletic managerial job in June 2009, making an emotional reunion with the first British club he joined when leaving Spain as a player in 1995.

A protracted wrangle over a compensation package - a reported £2m - between the two clubs ensued before Martinez eventually replaced Sunderland-bound Steve Bruce.

So Martinez will be braced for a hostile reception from the expected 5,000 visiting Swans fans to the DW Stadium on Tuesday, despite his extensive assistance in their development.

But as the 37-year-old prepares his current team side to face the club he left so acrimoniously, Martinez insists that whatever the welcome he will always have fond memories of his time in south Wales.

"I don't know what the reaction of the fans will be," said Martinez.

"But whatever it will be, I will just accept it and it will not change my feelings towards Swansea City. I'm extremely proud of what I achieved at Swansea.

"Even if fans could not understand my move at that time, probably now looking back it is something that has given stability to the football club.

"It has probably allowed them to have funds to carry on progressing and bringing in players.

"Swansea City has a clear identity, stability and a solid foundation. The squad has huge assets and a clear plan how to play the game and that was because the board and I had a long-term plan.

Roberto Martinez is unveiled as Wigan manager
Roberto Martinez's first British club when he arrived in 1995 was Wigan

"Swansea are an extremely well run club, they really give that stability to a very special football club.

"And it is only a matter of time that these people take Swansea City into the Premier League and into the level that the football club deserves.

"This club will make it into the Premier League when everything is ready, to not just make up the numbers but compete at the top level."

Martinez's philosophy of passing, constant movement and dominating possession is his legacy to the Welsh club that now lie third in the Championship after narrowly missing the play-offs last season.

And the Swans are bidding for a last eight place in the League Cup under new boss Brendan Rodgers.

"It will be a really exciting football occasion and it will be a terrific game of football because of the style of the two sides," said Martinez.

"A lot of special memories will come flooding back for me.

"I will always have a special feeling with Swansea as I have with Wigan, because they are the two clubs of my life."



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see also
Wigan 2-0 Swansea
26 Oct 10 |  League Cup
Swans visit Wigan in Carling Cup
25 Sep 10 |  Swansea
Wigan finally land boss Martinez
15 Jun 09 |  Wigan


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