Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has deemed their FA Cup exploits as insignificant unless his side manage to overturn the odds and beat Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday.
The Latics boss leads his side into the first FA Cup final of the club’s history knowing that their magnificent run to the final will be quickly forgotten unless they return to the DW Stadium with the trophy.
Speaking to Yahoo! in a press release sent to Give Me Football, Martinez said: “Finals are important games that you can only enjoy if you achieve the result that you want. Everyone is very proud of the achievement of getting to the final and nothing will change that.
“I don’t care what people say, you cannot enjoy the final without really competing for it.”
The sides met at the Etihad Stadium in a dress rehearsal for Saturday’s showpiece event just last month. Carlos Tevez’s goal gave City a narrowly deserved victory; despite the result, Martinez remains confident that his side can upset last year’s Premier League champions.
“Manchester City are the favourites and rightly so, but I feel that every time we have played them of late we have been very close to getting a positive result,” he added.
“We know we can play well against Manchester City but now the next step is to be a winning team against Manchester City. We will have a fully committed team, playing in a way that we are very proud of, giving everything to win the final.”
Martinez’s side go into the Wembley encounter as massive underdogs with most bookmakers having the Citizens at 1/6 to lift the trophy, however, Martinez believes it is a role that his team will savor.
“We’ll enjoy the role of underdogs at Wembley rather than being favorites like we were in the semi final,” stated Martinez. “You expect a very tough game against very tough opposition, we are the underdogs but it is a role that we relish.”
With FA Cup final shocks seemingly hard to come by, the Latics will take inspiration from Everton’s FA Cup triumph in 1995. Like Wigan, the Toffees were also struggling at the foot of the table when they defeated already-crowned Premier League champions Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley to claim a memorable cup upset.
“It serves as good inspiration for us, to look back and see clubs that have defied the odds. We are a team that has been doing that for years and we embrace that,” Martinez said.
And if Martinez’s men do manage to pull off a surprise victory, the Spaniard believes it could spark the start of a new era for the club.
Martinez explained: “It would open a new dimension for the football club, staying in the Premier League and achieving European qualification opens that new dimension.”
“Winning trophies is always significant and special for the history of any football club and for us to win a trophy would take us up in terms of the level of perception from the outside, clearly it would be a new era for the club.”
For more insight from Roberto Martinez and other leading managers plus exclusive Premier League highlights go to: www.yahoo.co.uk/sport