Martinez supports Pompey bid

Wigan manager believes FA Cup finallists should be allowed to play in Europe

The Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez believes Avram Grant should fight tooth and nail to ensure Portsmouth play in Europe next season.

After reaching next month's FA Cup final, Pompey would ordinarily be granted a place in the Europa League as opponents Chelsea will again be in the Champions League.

However, Portsmouth did not apply for a Uefa club licence ahead of the 1 March deadline for English teams to lodge paperwork with the Football Association.

Pompey can submit a retrospective application with the FA ahead of a May 31 Uefa deadline, albeit they will have to prove by then they are financially sound just weeks after entering administration.

Administrator Andrew Andronikou has revealed the club face "an uphill struggle" in terms of making an appeal as they do not have audited accounts, one of the requirements for the licence. Andronikou has insisted to "doing our best to get the club into Europe," with Martinez knowing he would do the same if he was in Grant's shoes.

"You should fight because every success they've had in the cup has been down to performances," said Martinez ahead of his side's match with Portsmouth at the DW Stadium tonight.

"You look at the performance they put in in the FA Cup semi-final win over Spurs, and that's a great reward for the club, players and the manager – everyone connected with Portsmouth.

"It has been a tough season for them, for a team that has coped with so many incidents off the pitch. It has resulted in a big debate as to where you draw the line between the financial mess and the effect on the football pitch.

"It's quite clear the authorities need to look at their financial problems, the reasons for it, and if they had something to do with this success. It's difficult to separate both issues because they are linked together, but I think the authorities will find a solution.

"I'm sure Avram Grant, though, will have a clear idea they should be in Europe after their achievements in the Cup, and I don't think many people could argue with that."

With Portsmouth relegated 24 hours before their Cup triumph over Spurs, Martinez has no doubts Wigan will be playing a side now freed from the shackles of their turbulent season.

"I know they are relegated, but we all know what they are capable of, and their season is still alive for many reasons, so we will have to be at our best," added Martinez.

"Given the individual quality within their squad, it is surprising they are in the position they are in in the table. But we know we are going to face a team in a good moment mentally, who really enjoyed their football in the semi-final."

Wigan go into the game desperate for a win to ease their own fears of relegation as they are currently one place and four points above the drop zone. After a weekend off to recharge the batteries, Martinez said: "It was good because we were at the end of a very demanding period. It's good to re-focus and to be refreshed, mentally and physically, for the next five games which are a fantastic challenge."

Martinez will again be without defender Gary Caldwell who serves the second of a three-match ban. However, Emmerson Boyce could return after missing the last three games with a back problem, but Hendry Thomas is doubtful with a quad injury.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower