Wigan are 'physically drained but emotionally ready' to take on Arsenal says Roberto Martinez
Having just won the FA Cup, the Latics must beat Arsenal tonight or be relegated
Tuesday 14 May 2013
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez accepts his players may be physically drained but has promised they are emotionally ready for tonight's crucial Barclays Premier League clash at Arsenal.
Martinez guided the Latics to their first major trophy on Saturday, upsetting Manchester City 1-0 in the FA Cup final.
If their Wembley mission was a tough ask, Wigan's task of surviving in the Premier League was made even more difficult by the results of their rivals on Sunday.
They are four points adrift of Sunderland, who occupy the final position of safety, and with a goal difference 11 worse than the Black Cats anything other than a win at Arsenal tonight will effectively mean they are relegated.
If that was not enough, the Gunners also need the win to climb back into the top four and maintain their unbroken run in the Champions League.
However, Wigan's FA Cup triumph means the players go into the game on an emotional high even if they are physically fatigued and Martinez hopes their Wembley experience will carry them through.
"As a player it is not just winning the FA Cup, which is a unique moment in your career, but it is the manner in which we competed against such a talented team and that gives you great confidence," the Spaniard said.
"What came out on Saturday was all their work over 10 months; it doesn't click into place because it has to - it clicks into place because these players have been performing in this manner for many months.
"We need to take all the positive feelings we have from Saturday into a massive game.
"Physically sometimes you can be drained but emotionally everyone is ready.
"We will have to assess it very carefully and get everyone fully fit because to play against a talented Arsenal side you need to be full of energy.
"It is a game that we have to win but Arsenal have to win so it will be a great advert for the league - two teams with similar ideologies who have to win on the day and I can't think of a better game to watch."
The cup triumph saw Martinez's growing reputation move up another notch at the weekend, and he remains the bookmakers' front-runner for the soon-to-be vacant Everton job.
However, the 39-year-old deflected all the praise from himself to the squad who have put into practice his footballing principles.
"It is an incredible feeling (winning the FA Cup) but it just shows what a committed bunch of players can achieve," he said.
"All I was was a privileged man in control of these players but the credit has to go to them for what they have done and what they had to achieve over the last three rounds."
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