Roberto Martinez has promised he will make a quick decision about his future at Wigan.
The Spaniard has been heavily linked with the vacancy at Everton and the Latics’ relegation on Tuesday only heightened speculation that Martinez’s four years in the DW Stadium hotseat may be up.
With the high of Wigan’s surprise FA Cup triumph last Saturday followed only three days later by the low of defeat by Arsenal to seal their fate, Martinez insists he has not yet thought about where his future lies.
He will meet with chairman Dave Whelan on Monday and Martinez, a former Latics player, knows it is important the man in charge next season has as much time as possible to prepare for life in the Championship.
He said: “I know it can sound a bit stupid but I’ve never, ever thought about my situation yet. It’s important you get through those feelings. We had the opportunity to do that with the players over the last two days and now we’re just focusing on Sunday.
“We really want to enjoy our time, as a football club it’s a big day. After that we’ll have enough time to look at individuals and see how we feel.
“It’s going to be very straightforward and, whatever it is, it’s going to be good for Wigan.
“One thing that we’re going to do very quickly is understand where we are next season and what we have to do internally.
“Whoever is the manager at the football club will be ready and already thinking about the next campaign and make sure we’re ready to start in the Championship and not starting the campaign still feeling hurt.
“This football club has got incredible, solid foundations and whoever is going to be the manager is going to have a very successful time.
“I know I’m not going to be here until I’m 100, there will be one day I can’t be the manager. That’s something that’s normal but I’ve always said I’m honoured and privileged to be the manager and I’ll enjoy it until that’s the end of it.”
There is concern not just about Martinez leaving the club but also a number of important players.
Key defenders Antolin Alcaraz and Maynor Figueroa and striker Franco Di Santo are all out of contract and expected to leave, while the likes of James McCarthy and Callum McManaman have been linked with the Premier League’s big guns.
Martinez admits there will be departures but denies it will be as many as half a dozen and insists the club are in a perfect position to ensure they accumulate a squad capable of returning to the Premier League.
He said: “You wouldn’t lose six because that’s not realistic. It’s nothing to be worried about.
“Sometimes when you hear the word relegation it brings a chaotic time internally at the football club, you don’t know where you are financially, you expect the worst. At Wigan Athletic this is the best that we’ve ever been.
“You’re going to lose players in the same way that teams that win leagues lose players, so that’s the modern game. We’ve coped with that over the last few years.
“The conveyor belt is going to carry on, the recruitment department and the development set-up is ready to do that, so that’s not a problem.
“If you lose any players at this football club, you’re going to lose them for the right reasons and for the right prices.”
Wigan finish their season at home to Aston Villa on Sunday and they will be without McManaman, who will also miss the European Under-21 Championships.
The forward was the star of the Latics’ FA Cup triumph over Manchester City and was rewarded for his excellent form over the last few months of the season with a first call-up to Stuart Pearce’s England squad for the tournament in Israel next month.
But the 22-year-old damaged ankle ligaments in the defeat by Arsenal and, although he will not need an operation, he is expected to be out for up to three months.
Martinez has already tipped McManaman for full England honours in the future but believes it is crucial the former Everton youngster stays at Wigan next season.
He said: “If one player needs to stay at the club and become an important part of this football club, it’s Callum.
“He’s been a phenomenal player for us but he’s someone who, at 22, needs to work on certain aspects to become the player he can be.
“Probably, the Championship, for him to play week in, week out and have an important role, it will be the perfect challenge for him.”