Defender understands magnitude of test Latics face on Monday night against Manchester City but urges fans to get behind the players when they need it at the DW Stadium.
- INTERVIEW: Chey Dunkley on Wigan Athletic’s Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round tie with Manchester City
- Dunkley, 26, looking forward to FA Cup fixture with Pep Guardiola’s side after good recent cup runs with Oxford United
- Dunkley: “We’ll be true to how we play and you won’t see us setting up just to be part of the occasion, we’ll be confident in the system and who knows, we could pull off an upset.”
Wigan Athletic defender Chey Dunkley spoke to Latics’ official match programme ahead of Monday night’s Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round clash with Manchester City.
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The 26-year-old, who has enjoyed recent success in cup competitions with previous club Oxford United, says Paul Cook’s side won’t be changing their approach from their positive Sky Bet League One campaign to date, to accommodate Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders.
“We’ll be true to how we play and you won’t see us setting up just to be part of the occasion,” Dunkley said. “We’ll be confident in the system and who knows, we could pull off an upset.
“For me, it’s about getting the basics right to give me a foundation to deal with any threats. The preparation for the game has to be perfect because we’re going to need to be on top of our game to play our part in this cup tie. Everyone is focused and well drilled to cope with Man City and we’re really looking forward to facing them.
“This is a huge test for us to see how far we can go. We know we’ve got a good side, that’s evident in where we are in the league and it is all about challenging ourselves against the very best.
“I’ve always enjoyed FA Cup games, it’s a special competition. You can test yourself against top sides, especially in the latter stages of the competition.”
Dunkley has been a near ever-present in his debut season at Latics, experiencing Latics’ FA Cup wins against Bournemouth and West Ham United as well as our league programme and he says an atmosphere at the DW rivalling that of the win over the Hammers is what the players will need on Monday.
Everything is set up to be one of those classic FA Cup nights and we’ll be at it from the first minute.
“Against West Ham in the last round the atmosphere was incredible,” he explained. “It lifted every single one of us to perform to the level we did. Our supporters reacted to the away supporters and it’s that extra ingredient that can help to change a game.
“The boys thrive off the atmosphere and Monday's game will certainly have an edge to it. There’s a lot of history between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City in the FA Cup, it’s a Monday night under the lights and in front of the television cameras. Everything is set up to be one of those classic FA Cup nights and we’ll be at it from the first minute.
“As much as we know there’s going to be great support for us inside the stadium, we have to help create that atmosphere as well by being strong, taking risks and lifting the crowd. Hand-in-hand our performance and the supporters will bounce of each other.
“It’s one of the easiest games to be up for, whether you’re a player or a supporter.”
Latics, who were previously 16 games unbeaten, go into the match of the back of consecutive defeats but that is of no concern to Dunkley who feels it was inevitable Latics would have a brief period of disappointment after six months of success.
“We’ve created incredibly high standards within the group so the defeats hurt us all,” he continued. “They were extremely disappointing. In the very few games that we have lost this season we’ve bounced back straight away and the defeat is forgotten about very quickly.
“We didn’t do that against Blackpool, but we’ll use these defeats to give us the extra drive to succeed. We have to put our foot back on the pedal and get back into our routine of winning games.
“Success isn’t a constant thing and even in the very best of seasons a team is always going to face some form of disappointment. Just because we’ve lost twice doesn’t mean we’re automatically a bad team or that things need to drastically change.
“We have addressed the defeats this week and we move on from them with extra motivation. Sometimes you need a bit of a bump to make you even more determined.”