Roberto Martinez: Relegation or win the FA Cup?

Wigan news: Roberto Martinez has his thoughts on the FA Cup final and his struggle to keep his side in the EPL

Pete Tarrant
Published 09/05/2013 15:49 by Pete Tarrant, read by 1,237 people.

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez is proud of his players for reaching the FA Cup final, but seriously wants his team to concentrate on the bigger picture.

Wigan will play Manchester City in the Wembley showpiece on Saturday at 5.15pm, with a trip to the Emirates and a crucial home fixture with Aston Villa on the last day of the league season to fulfil.

Speaking to Yahoo! in a press release sent to GiveMeFootball, as much as the FA Cup would be a top honour for the people of the club, Martinez said his side won't be producing one of those cup final songs, and will concentrate on the job at hand.

Martinez stated: "We need to remember that we are in the middle of a crucial part of our season; we are fighting to reach our target in the league so I wouldn't want any of the players doing anything other than concentrating on the game. 

"We have, however, seen different schools and people around Wigan performing their own songs, and we have been playing them at the training ground, the support is incredible and it gives us a great feeling of satisfaction."  

Martinez joined Wigan as a player in 1995 and finished in 2001, he came back to his old club as boss to heroically keep them afloat in the top English division, time will tell over next few games whether he can do the same again this year. 

The Latics beat Millwall 2-0 at Wembley in the semi-final, and the Spaniard has called that encounter the 'dress rehearsal' for the people of Wigan as they line the Wembley streets once again for the final. 

"You can already sense a special feeling in the town; everyone is very proud and excited," Martinez added. "The FA Cup is more than a competition, it's a way of living, everyone has grown up with memories of the FA Cup, and we are very aware of what it means to everyone. 

"From our point of view we need to be very professional and to make sure that we are as good as we can be against the champions of England. What ever way you look at it, it will be a phenomenal game and a unique and historic occasion.

"Getting to the FA Cup final is a real achievement and now we are there we want to win it because otherwise it will be an unhappy experience. I would say that I feel most proud, though, when the team and I finish a season having achieved all our aims. At the moment, however, that is still all up in the air for us. 

"What we do know is that we have the opportunity to create our proudest season ever by winning the FA Cup, but we are also fighting relegation so it's paramount that we achieve our aim in the league to make it a fulfilling season."

Martinez missed out on his own personal glory in 1999, when he was set to play in the Football League Trophy for Wigan at the old Wembley, but an injury ruled him out. 

So for the manager and chairman, Dave Whelan, the occasion will be an emotional one when both step out on the pitch together.

"The Chairman is the reason why we have achieved what we have achieved. In football you always need to have someone who has the vision to drive a project forward. 

"When he started at Wigan Athletic I don't think anyone apart from him could visualise the success that was going to come. He had a difficult personal experience in the 1960 FA Cup final and now it is as if his involvement brings everything full circle and so gives closure on everything. 

"Leading the team out as Chairman is a very significant moment and we are all incredibly pleased for him, he is living what could be the final chapter of this incredible dream."

Whelan broke his leg in the 1960 FA Cup final and still wells up when he thinks back to that infamous day 53 years ago. He will hope to have a positive experience when his club face Roberto Mancini's Citizens on Saturday evening.

"Playing at Wembley is a special moment in your career but I'm not someone who put to much emphasis on it as being a defining moment," said the Wigan manager. "Playing at Wembley is a reward for your hard work and although I missed out I always felt happy that I had helped the team get there.

"Irrespective of who you are playing and where you are playing, a final is there to be won and anything else just isn't enjoyable. So, we're going to allow the fans to enjoy the day and we can help that by making sure we really perform on the pitch."

 For more insight from Roberto Martinez and other leading managers plus exclusive Premier League highlights go to:

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