Wigan's Roberto Martinez warns on FA Cup heroics

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 April, 2013, 4:55am
AFP

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Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has told his players that their exploits in the FA Cup would count for nothing if they did not avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Goals from Shaun Maloney and Callum McManaman gave Wigan a 2-0 win over Millwall to send the side from northwest England into their first FA Cup final.

However, they sit in the Premier League relegation zone and although they have at least a game in hand on teams above them, they have only seven games left to secure their top-flight status.

Asked if he intended to watch yesterday's second semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City, Martinez replied: "We'll be training.

"We will follow the semi-final with interest but success in the cup has to be a consequence of success in the league. We'll concentrate on that and we'll put the Wembley talk to one side.

"Every success is only a success if we achieve our aim in the league, otherwise it's a waste of time.

"But since we won in the [FA Cup] quarter-final, the mentality has been the same in the changing room, competing in every game.

"We're still unbeaten since our quarter-final, so that shows it can be done."

Maloney gave Wigan a 25th-minute lead but Martinez's men had to endure some nervous moments in the second half until McManaman rounded goalkeeper David Forde and tapped home to seal victory with 12 minutes to play.

It capped a superb performance by the England under-20 winger, who was vilified last month for a dangerous foul on Newcastle United left-back Massadio Haidara.

"Callum is a player who will perform in the same manner in a playground with his mates or playing at Wembley in front of 62,000 people," Martinez said.

"Unfortunately he was in the middle of a media storm … in the wrong place at the wrong time during international week when there weren't many other topics.

"He's someone who many fans would buy a ticket to watch what he does in those exciting situations with defenders. At a very young age, he is potentially one of the biggest diamonds of English football."

 
 
 
 

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