'The way we play, we need to enjoy ourselves': Wigan prepare for FA Cup final

  • @stevetongue

Ten years after playing in the old Third Division to gates of 7,000, Wigan Athletic will walk out at Wembley on Saturday for their first FA Cup final. They are virtually assured of a place in the Europa League even if they lose, which is the outcome most observers are predicting; Manchester City have won the teams' past seven League meetings without even conceding a goal. But Wigan's manager, Roberto Martinez, remains as positive as ever in suggesting how his team can pull off a shock.


"Every time we've played against Manchester City since their big investment we have not been able to beat them. They have been close games but I feel there is something else we need to find. It is more about mentality. We need to find a belief that we can achieve it."

Tactical flexibility

"In the modern game you need players that are flexible. We have been doing it for the last four years and the players are flexible and can change during the game, never mind from game to game. They can change in two or three different ways, stopping the opposition or attacking. That's a must."

Stem the flow

"The team was magnificent against Spurs. If you stop a team like that having a shot on target from open play it means we've done something right.

"The tactical awareness of the players and the variation we have tactically is one way we can compete against top teams."

Play to the limit

"It is 11 versus 11 and if you are very good on your day you can compete against anyone. That's the fantastic story of the FA Cup itself. That can play in our favour, but it is not going to happen by just turning out and believing it will happen."

Enjoy it

"The way we play, we need to enjoy our football. We saw it in the quarter-finals at Goodison Park against Everton.

"We are not the type of team who can just be solid and doing our jobs, we rely on the talent and creativity of our players.

"The moment we got away from that Premier League pressure and had something to win, we enjoyed our game and won quite easily."