Roberto Martinez said that Wigan Athletic’s relegation last night was “too fresh” for him to be able to think about his future.
The 39-year-old has been linked with the imminently-vacant Everton job but last night Martinez refused to be drawn on whether he will manage Wigan in the Championship or not next season.
“If I am honest with you, it is just too fresh,” he said last night, after the 4-1 defeat to Wigan which sent them down. “I never, ever expected us to get relegated so I don't think it is the moment. We have to get ready for the final game of the season - I want to get 38 points and make sure we have a good finish to the season.”
“Then, as always happens at the end of the season, there will be an assessment and whatever happens, happens. But all that matter now is how we finish the final game.”
“When you walk off after the game and you did not expect a negative outcome, you see the players and the feelings they are sharing is heartbreaking. Now is not the time to look at individuals. We are a special football and whatever happens this summer is out of my hands.”
Martinez – who described this was “the lowest of lows” - said he was shocked and never expected his team to be relegated.
“I can't quite believe it. I know from the outside relegation was a possibility but I never thought it would happen. We had to win the last two games but I was very confident this team could do that.”
“It is difficult to describe my feelings because even now it is a shock. I don't think there are many managers who say they are proud of the players when they have been relegated, but today, the way they showed their character and passion and the way they played their football - that is not a team that deserves to be in the bottom three.”
But Martinez predicted a positive future regardless.
“The relegation is really disappointing but it’s something we can rectify. We have to make sure we get stronger. We’ll bounce back, as we always do Wigan style.
The club is on a fantastic financial footing. We have huge assets. The football philosophy is there for the long term. Our fans were supporting us to the last second.”