Roberto Martinez has backed his former protégé Shaun Maloney to be a success at Wigan Athletic, insisting he should have been given more time to implement his style of management at Hibernian. 

The former Celtic midfielder landed his first job as a manager at Easter Road in December 2021, but he was subsequently sacked just four months later after missing out on a top-six finish in the Scottish Premiership. 

Maloney is now back in a job with Wigan after replacing Kolo Toure in January. Despite The Latics already being destined for relegation from the Championship this term, the former Scotland international has definitely sparked life into the one-time Premier League outfit. 

Martinez worked alongside Maloney with the Belgian national team as his assistant, and he also managed the 40-year-old as a player during his time at the DW Stadium, which included a famous FA Cup win over Manchester City. 

Martinez, who is now in charge of Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese national team, always believed Maloney was destined to become a manager in his own right, and he is delighted that he has bounced back from his ill-fated spell in Edinburgh. 

He explained: “Shaun was a joy to work with as a player. He wasn’t a typical British player. He was a footballer who didn’t play in systems. 

“He had an appreciation for space, he could turn and (dictate) at the highest, highest level. And he was one of the main reasons that a team like ours was competitive in the Premier League. 


“Then he became a coach and came to work with me with Belgium. We were only five months from the World Cup when he accepted the opportunity at Hibs. 

“He was a fully committed person, very intelligent and 100 percent determined to become a top, top coach. But he was never given the time to build a team. 

“Coaches are not magicians. You cannot arrive somewhere and then all of a sudden a team that has not been winning is suddenly improved.” 

Martinez looks to the Premier League and Arsenal as a prime example as to why managers need time to implement their sty;e on a football club. 

Emirates supporters were calling for the former Rangers midfielder to be sacked last term as the Gunners slumped to a fifth-place finish, but this term the London outfit are battling it out with Manchester City for the title. 

Martinez added: “It takes time to put across ideas, to create a culture, to find the players you’re going to develop. 

“But Shaun was not given the time and that’s a shame. It’s a shame because there are good examples in the modern game that show what happens when coaches are given time. 

“Look at Arsenal. They went through a period of difficulty but they stood by the manager and now the results are there. 

“You need to give time to empower people, especially these days when one result can become problematic with social media and people’s opinions. 

“It’s then that the position of the manager becomes very, very weak. 

“It’s important you give time and empower the manager to get results in this modern way of playing.” 

Roberto Martinez spoke during his guest appearance at the 26th annual Beatson Cancer Charity’s Sporting Dinner in Glasgow. A total of £138,643.43 was raised. You can support the charity HERE.