Roberto Martinez reveals he is influenced by time spent in Scotland

 

Roberto Martinez believes his brief time in Scotland shaped him as a manager - and his ongoing admiration of the character of Scottish players is still influencing his transfer activity.

The Everton manager has signed the likes of James McCarthy, Shaun Maloney, James McArthur and Aiden McGeady during his spells at Wigan and Goodison Park and he is tracking more players from the Scottish Premiership.

The former Motherwell midfielder is believed to remain interested in 20-year-old Dundee United left-back Andy Robertson, who made an impressive first start for Scotland during the 2-2 friendly draw with World Cup-bound Nigeria on Wednesday.

Martinez told Press Association Sport: "I have been following a lot of youngsters who are showing real potential and I think Scottish football can take advantage of using a lot of young players for the league.

"As a profile in terms of their work-rate, understanding of the game, their focus and desire, I love the Scottish player as a character in any dressing room in the Premier League."

Martinez discovered something about his own character when he came through his tough spell at Fir Park during the 2001-02 season.

The Spaniard found himself struggling to get a regular start after the man who signed him, Billy Davies, was sacked early in the campaign, and he was then made redundant when the club went into administration towards the end of the season.

The 40-year-old said: "Motherwell was a very good experience because it wasn't a good experience. It became something different.

"I became a stronger person; in football terms it wasn't a successful story and that is probably where I understood many other areas that unless you go through you will never understand what certain players go through.

"As a manager it has helped me immensely. Being able to understand a dressing room undergoing administration was at the time very hurtful but now it has made me the manager I am now.

"I met my wife, which was something which changed my life, and overall I fell in love with the Scottish game and the institutions in football clubs which bring incredible memories of European football.

"As a whole I really enjoyed Scottish football. It wasn't a success from a personal point of view at the time but it has become one of the biggest footballing lessons in my development as a manager."

Motherwell went into administration after then chairman John Boyle spent big money on the likes of John Spencer - a purchase from Everton - in a vain attempt to achieve success and boost attendances.

After running out of money, they reverted to producing their own players, such as future Goodison forward James McFadden, and the experience helped reinforce the football principles of Martinez.

"I always feel there is no excuse for mishandling your football club," he said.

"When you are running a club you are only a custodian and you are dealing with 90, 95, 100 years of history and there is no excuse for putting a club under financial strain.

"You need to invest and spend money but always with a clear vision and understanding which can never put the future of the club or the future of the players in doubt.

"I never found an excuse for anyone who has been running a club and allows it to go into negative figures.

"There is no room for that and it is not part of the competition, it is not how football should be approached."

PA

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