Premier League

Martinez credits Caldwell

Skipper united side despite cultural differences, says Wigan boss

Gary Caldwell: Has succeeded in bringing the whole group together at Wigan

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Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has paid tribute to his captain Gary Caldwell for helping guide the club to Premier League safety.

Wigan ensured they will enjoy an eighth successive season of top-flight football next term with Monday's 1-0 win at Blackburn.

It capped a remarkable late surge that saw the Latics win six games out of eight and burst clear of the relegation battle.

"He has been a real credit to himself and his family and we are very proud to have him here at Wigan."

Roberto Martinez on Gary Caldwell

Quotes of the week

Those victories included surprise results against Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle meaning Wigan can sign off in relaxed mood when they face already-relegated Wolves at the DW Stadium on Sunday.

But Martinez has taken time out to hail his skipper for galvanising a disparate bunch and rallying them behind a common cause.

Martinez said of the 30-year-old Scotland international: "Gary has been a very consistent character and I think you have seen that since he arrived at the football club.

"I don't think it has just been this season - it is part of his nature.

"He is a leader and someone who has real high standards, and that affects other players.

"I think the biggest strength of Gary is that he has been able to get the whole group together.


"Remember, our group - it is not a difficult one, but it is a challenge because you have got 12 or 13 different nationalities.

"That brings various cultural differences, but he has managed to get it together and we have the meaning of playing for Wigan Athletic as the direction for everyone.

"He also deserves the credit he is getting because he has had a very strong season.

"The second half of the season has been really, really good and he has developed very strong partnerships with people around him.

"He has been a real credit to himself and his family and we are very proud to have him here at Wigan."

The Latics' only fitness concern for the weekend is former Wolves man David Jones, who Martinez admits has "a couple of niggles" and is unlikely to feature against his old club.

Terry Connor will lead the visitors for the final time as it was announced on Friday that 44-year-old Norwegian Stale Solbakken will take the reins at Molineux next season.

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