FA Cup hero Ben Watson shares his thoughts on his injury, Latics chances on Sunday and his memories of the FA Cup final in 2013.
Eyes lit up when Wigan Athletic drew Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter final this season, with the prospect of cup final hero Ben Watson and Latics attempting to triumph over last season’s beaten finalists once more, but just days after the draw a second broken leg in 16 months put a stop to what could have been another fairy tale for the midfielder.
Instead, Watson will be watching on, cheering on his team mates while he recovers from a double leg fracture, but he insists he’s in good spirits about both his injury and Latics’ chances on Sunday.
“I’m feeling good, as good as I could be anyway,” said Watson.
“There’s no looking back for me, I’ve always been a very positive person and I’m looking to the future.
“It’s been a hectic few weeks, but I’m lucky enough to have had the right support from my family, from my team mates and from the supporters and I would like to thank them for that.”
On Sunday’s match Watson added:
“It’s a game I would have loved to play in, but it just wasn’t meant to be this time.
“Hopefully the lads can go out there and give a good account of themselves and pull off that shock again.
“I don’t see why we can’t win. Sunderland pushed Man City in the League Cup final and why can’t we do exactly the same?
“If we can go there and get the first goal then it will be great, if we’ve got to chase Man City then it will be very tough.
“I’ll be watching on Sunday hoping that we pull off another shock and earn another place at Wembley.”
Recovering from his first leg break to make the final last season, Watson recalls the moments leading up to his introduction at Wembley Stadium and just what happened during the celebrations following the goal.
“My aim was to keep getting as many games as possible and once the lads had won the semi-final I had the aim of being fit for the final.
“To break my leg in the November and then get back to be named on the bench in the FA Cup final was great.
“I had a feeling I would be given the chance in the final and luckily enough I was given the call to come on with 10 minutes to go.
“All I remember after the goal was Cal Mac dragging me to the floor and telling me ‘you’ve won us the FA Cup’.
“Before I knew it everyone had jumped into the celebrations, but we still had two or three minutes to play.
“We built up the mentality that we knew we wouldn’t have a better chance to win the FA Cup and that really came when Pablo Zabaleta got sent off.”
With the cup final triumph still not sinking in for Watson, he posed the question, what if?
“We’re in the quarter final again and winning the trophy still hasn’t sunk in.
“It’s a special competition and crazy things can happen, we’re proof of that and our victory last year will forever go down as the fairy tale final.
“I often think what might have happened if things were different for the final.
“If I’d started the game and scored the goal would it have been the same?
“If I hadn’t broken my leg and still scored the winning goal would that have felt the same?
“And then I think everything came together and just seemed like it was meant to be, that’s the special nature of football sometimes.”
You can watch the full feature-length interview with Ben on Latics Player by [clicking here]. He also answers questions from supporters that were sent in using #askBen on Twitter and Facebook.
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