- FA Cup
Martinez: Everton talk a 'waste of time'
Roberto Martinez insists any approach from Everton would currently be "a waste of time" as he focuses on attempting to lead Wigan to the FA Cup.
Martinez will lead his team into their first FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday when they take on Manchester City. But he has emerged as an early contender to take charge at Goodison Park as a replacement for David Moyes, who was set to be named Manchester United's new boss.
Moyes' pending move to Old Trafford was set in motion after Sir Alex Ferguson announced on Wednesday he would step down at the end of this season after 26-and-a-half years in charge at United. And Wigan chairman Dave Whelan admitted on Thursday morning that he is resigned to losing Martinez sooner or later.
Martinez paid tribute to Ferguson, but attempted to play down reports that he might move on to Everton. Asked if he had received any contact from Goodison Park, Martinez said: "No, no, no. It would be a waste of time for anyone at the moment. The most important aspect is to be as ready as we can for Saturday, and then we've got another two incredible finals in the league.
"This is the peak time for Wigan Athletic, and we need to make sure we are ready to allow our fans to be very, very proud and enjoy a really strong ending to the season. That's what we have to fight for."
Whelan said on Thursday that he feels Martinez is worthy of a bigger club than Everton. And the Wigan manager said: "The chairman has got a fantastic knowledge about the game and you can ask him anything.
"He will never turn away from an answer, and I'm sure he has many other answers to give you."
Martinez is attempting to juggle a cup final debut with a relegation battle, as Wigan have two more Premier League games to play after Saturday's Wembley final. His side are three points from a position of safety after Tuesday night's 3-2 defeat at home to his former club Swansea. They visit Arsenal next Tuesday before completing their season at home to Aston Villa a week on Sunday.
But Martinez believes his team can win the cup and achieve top-flight survival. He added: "People ask which competition we prefer; we want both. I think it's clear we need to learn how to cope with the demands of both competitions.
"I thought on Tuesday in the league, if anything, we were affected by it. But it's something we want to get through. Reaching the FA Cup final is a momentous time for the football club, and we want to enjoy the occasion.
"And then we will leave the league on the side. It's a crucial time of the season, and we have three major games to try to achieve something special."
Martinez is having to cope with a lengthening injury list, confirming that Ronnie Stam will miss the final after damaging ankle ligaments against Swansea on Tuesday, three days after fellow defender Jean Beausejour suffered a hamstring injury at West Brom that will keep him out of the FA Cup final too.
The manager said: "Ronnie hasn't got a broken leg. The scan came out a little bit more positive than what we thought, but he's got ankle ligament damage, and he's going to be out for a long time. Ronnie is going to be out with Jean Beausejour, Maynor Figueroa (groin) and the long-term injuries of Albert Crusat and Ivan Ramis (both knee)."