Martinez - City are at new level
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes Man City moved to the next level during the close season.
Last Updated: 09/09/11 3:24pm
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes Manchester City moved to the next level during the close season.
The ambitious Blues ended their 35-year wait for a major trophy by winning last season's FA Cup and Roberto Mancini spent another £75million in the summer.
City did the double over Wigan for the first time in the Premier League last term before the Latics avoided relegation on the final day.
Martinez believes City are now genuine title contenders and although his side's expectations are more modest, the Spaniard has challenged his team to keep competing with the Premier League's big boys.
"I think it is fair to say Manchester City, since they won the FA Cup, have gone into a different status," he said. "They have shown already this season they are title challengers.
"They will be expected to have another fantastic season, but for us we are expecting to have another fantastic season.
"Our aims are completely different but I am extremely proud of the achievements of Wigan Athletic. The excitement is to try to improve on that over the next 10 months."
Wigan have made an encouraging start to the new season and are unbeaten having picked up five points from three games, but City have been in blistering form, winning all three games and scoring 12 goals in the process.
"They were a really solid side, very good in not conceding goals," said Martinez.
"Now all of a sudden they have gone a stage further, and they added a lot of firepower up front. They are a very well-balanced team.
"It is not easy to get all that money and make it work but I think Roberto has managed it really well.
"He has a winning team ready to win major trophies and make history."
Wigan were written off in many quarters last season before turning positive performances into points in the closing weeks of the season to survive.
And Martinez wants to maintain the momentum after bringing in Shaun Maloney, Albert Crusat and Patrick van Aanholt before the transfer window shut last week.
"We need to be ready for them (City)," he said. "If we are perfect we can be competitive on the day and that is a really exciting challenge. I think we are ready to hit those levels.
"I am really pleased with the way we have started this season, probably with the same intensity and competitive edge we finished the last campaign. That has been really important but it is very early days in the season.
"We have to work very hard on certain aspects to improve but the early signs have been really encouraging.
"Now we have got the three new faces, they have really brought something different to the squad.
"We are really excited about the whole month ahead, which is going to be really demanding. We need to be ready for it."