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The FA Cup Semi-Final

Martinez expects cup passion

Roberto Martinez is preparing for a "blast from the past" when his Wigan team face non-league Macclesfield in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Last Updated: 26/01/13 at 14:35 Post Comment

Roberto Martinez: Expects a passionate game at Moss Rose on Saturday as Wigan ta

Roberto Martinez: Expects a passionate game at Moss Rose on Saturday as Wigan ta

The Wigan boss played for the Latics during their rise through the ranks, and believes the Moss Rose tie will be significant for supporters who have followed the club since their lower-league days.

Despite the 82 places separating the sides in league positions, the Spaniard remains wary of the Blue Square Bet Premier side after their win over Championship leaders Cardiff in the third round.

Martinez said: "There is going to be a lot of passion in the Moss Rose ground on Saturday and it is going to be a typical FA Cup tie.

"Divisional status is not an issue in the FA Cup or any cup for that matter and as we've seen against Cardiff City in the last round, Macclesfield use their home ground to their advantage and they were very effective against the leaders of the Championship, which is a phenomenal achievement.

"As we saw ourselves against Bournemouth in the last round, players can raise their game in one off matches like these and they can hit extraordinary physical levels which bring about an extra difficulty when you are trying to prepare.

"We're going to have over 2,000 of our fans filling a third of the ground which makes it even more significant for us and in many ways it is a blast from the past for some of our supporters that have been following the club since our days in the lower divisions.

"We are really looking forward to the game and we want to progress to the fifth round."

Martinez looks likely to stick with the Wigan line-up that beat Bournemouth 1-0 in the last round.

He said: "For our young players it is another chance to show that they are physically ready for the challenge of first team football and it is a great opportunity in a great competition.

"The FA Cup is a phenomenal competition and the game against Macclesfield is going to be a local derby with amazing support for both teams which will make it an extra special football game.

"It is very important to give players that have been performing well in this competition another chance to progress and show what they can do."

Martinez added: "Everyone in the squad is vital in the next week because we have got the cup game on Saturday followed by a game against Stoke City midweek and then Southampton the Saturday after.

"Up until now we have seen an incredible focus and sense of responsibility from every player and it is important to keep those high standards in both the FA Cup and the Barclays Premier League."

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