Mathias backs Martinez to succeed

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Roberto Martinez is no stranger to hard work at Wigan, according to one of his former bosses.

The Spaniard is expected to return to the club as manager and replace Steve Bruce after "positive talks" with chief executive Brenda Spencer. Should the move go through it will complete a remarkable journey for the 35-year-old.

When the Spaniard was plying his trade in midfield for Wigan in the lower leagues they were based at Springfield Park and Martinez's former manager Ray Mathias recalled: "Springfield Park was a bit run down and the training ground was not the best. It was always waterlogged. But Roberto is a great professional. He got on with his job and was very thorough."

He added: "He was first in and last out of the training ground most of the time. He did extra shifts after training, concentrating on free-kicks and working on dead ball situations. He would stay for hours on end.

"Roberto adapted very well to English football. He enjoyed it immensely. He was a playmaker, who passed the ball well.

"Sometimes he would struggle with the physical side of the game but he would try to overcome that problem."

Martinez guided Swansea to the League One title last year and then within two places of the Championship play-offs.

Spencer met Martinez on Thursday to begin negotiations after being given permission to speak to him once a compensation deal was agreed.

"Talks were really positive and I am confident that everything will go through, " Spencer told the club's official website. As with all these talks there is a lot to go through and agree.

"Roberto and I will continue to keep in touch over the weekend and we hope to announce something early next week."

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League One
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Wigan Athletic
Swansea City

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