Martinez gives his verdict after team book place in FA Cup quarter final
Roberto Martinez praised the attitude of his players who came through a tricky tie FA Cup fifth round tie against Huddersfield Town to book their place in the final eight of the competition.
Goals from Callum McManaman, James McArthur and an Arouna Kone brace eased Latics to a 4-1 victory and into the quarter finals for the second time in the club’s history, with Lee Novak scoring a consolation for the home side.
It was also the first time Wigan Athletic had recorded a win at the home of the Terriers, and afterwards Martinez said:
“It was a very difficult game for us, but to come away from home and score four goals is very pleasing.
“We adapted to the condition of the pitch very well and met the demands of competing in two competitions, looking like a team with cohesion that knew what was required to win.
“It also serves as a mark of the work being done behind the scenes that we can make a number of changes and still record such a result; three years ago we couldn’t have worked with a squad of this size and win football games.
“James McArthur showed a strong footballing brain; he was at the heart of everything going forwards for us and fully deserved his goal.
“Callum McManaman, as we all know, is a real talent and someone who can really expose defenders in one-v-one situations and did just that throughout the game.
“But overall the attitude of the squad was fantastic, showing great concentration against a team who pushed forward in the second-half and threw the ball in the area a lot.
“The goal they (Huddersfield) scored was a disappointing moment, but we defended well throughout and I thought deserved a clean sheet.”
The gaffer hoped the team’s success in the cup this season can have a positive effect on their league form as they aim to secure a ninth season in the Barclays Premier League, saying:
“The standards in the dressing room have always been very high, and that’s going to be an important factor between now and the end of the season.
“We’ve got twelve games remaining in the Barclays Premier League and an FA Cup quarter final to look forward to, so they need to keep that focus they have and continue to show that when we come together as a football club anything is possible.”
On the prospect of facing either Everton or Oldham Athletic away from home in the next round, Martinez said:
“You always prefer to play your ties at home, so in that respect we’ve not had much luck when it comes to the draw in this year’s competition.
“Oldham have been magnificent in the previous rounds so far, and in their first tie against Everton on Saturday.
“On the other hand, we all know how difficult it would be to have to go to Goodison Park and play against David Moyes’ side with the winning mentality they have this season.”