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In-form Inter Milan will be looking to extend their Serie A lead at home to Palermo tonight – see all the best betting odds here.

Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez has played down remarks he made criticising Sir Alex Ferguson after confirming he had spoken to the Manchester United manager to clarify his comments.

A Spanish newspaper quoted Martinez as saying Ferguson wielded too much power in football and was treated leniently by the Football Association.

“It was an unfortunate article,” Martinez told Sky Sports News. “I looked at the article and I found it really disrespectful and full of bad taste. It doesn’t represent myself or any of my views.

“Fortunately, I’ve been in the British game for 14 years and I’m very open with the media. Everyone who knows me knows I can speak about any subject, but in Spain you don’t really know how it works there, it’s a completely different structure.

“It’s not the first time, and I don’t think it will be the last time, that there is some misinterpretation, false declarations and probably things taken out of context.

“I’ve got the utmost respect for Sir Alex Ferguson, Steve Bruce, Sam Allardyce and Rafa Benitez.”

Martinez added: “Those managers have probably been in this situation and know how things work. I have had a lot of support in that respect.

“To speak about other managers you need to win the league. But it is not in my nature to be outspoken.

“Sir Alex is probably the best manager in the world while Steve has worked under him and we have a good relationship as he worked at Wigan before me.

“As for Sam I respect his achievements and what he has done in the Premier League. I also respect Rafa as he is one of the most successful Spanish managers ever.”

Confirming he has spoken to his four contemporaries mentioned in the article, Martinez continued: “I have spoken with everyone, with Sir Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce and Rafa Benitez.

“Obviously, I want to have things very, very clear. I’ve got the utmost respect for all of them and their achievements in management and as colleagues in the best league in world football.

“I wouldn’t accept that from any other manager, those sort of comments, and I’m sure they understand.

“It is important they all know I was very disappointed with the stories that were circulating. It is a very unfortunate situation, but people need to understand what happened.”

In-form Inter Milan will be looking to extend their Serie A lead at home to Palermo tonight – see all the best betting odds here.

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