Scharner: FA Cup is no distraction

Paul Scharner believes Wigan's FA Cup semi-final can help, not hinder their battle against relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

Last Updated: 10/04/13 at 17:43 Post Comment

Paul Scharner: Insists Wigan are completely focused on survival

Paul Scharner: Insists Wigan are completely focused on survival

Paul Scharner believes the "island" of the FA Cup semi-final can help Wigan in their battle against relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

The Latics have taken seven points from their three league games since beating Everton in the quarter-finals but remain in the bottom three ahead of Saturday's trip to Wembley to face Millwall.

Chairman Dave Whelan said this week survival must take precedence over reaching the final, and Scharner agrees, but he does not think the latter will compromise the chances of the former.

The 33-year-old said: "Of course (survival is the priority) because it's the future for Wigan and it brings the money to run the business.

"But I don't see a problem to be in the semis and fight against relegation because it's a little island outside of the relegation fight to enjoy another football match.

"I think every single player should enjoy their time there because it's not very often you're playing at Wembley with Wigan in an FA Cup semi-final.

"It's a different pressure. We have the relegation pressure, which is very hard to handle to be honest because you have to get the points to stay up and secure the future. This is different because it's one match.

"Wigan has a lot of experience now in the relegation fight. It does bring also pressure on you because everybody's expecting Wigan to survive again. What we need to focus on in the last seven games is get nine points, that's it."

Fans' favourite Scharner spent four-and-a-half years with Wigan before leaving for West Brom in 2010 and then Hamburg, but returned to the DW Stadium in January on loan until the end of the season.

He said: "The cup was in my mind when I signed the contract on January 31 because Wigan were already in the quarter-finals. So I did think about it because I never played at Wembley.

"The FA Cup is one of the biggest occasions in world football so everybody knows Wembley. It will be a very nice experience for me."

When Scharner joined the club for the first time, the Latics were on their way to the 2006 League Cup final, where they lost 4-0 to Manchester United at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

The Austrian said: "My memories are I was very disappointed when we lost 4-0 against an outstanding Manchester United side but I scored on my debut in the first leg of the semis against Arsenal and it's one of my best memories at Wigan."

Scharner's fellow defender Emmerson Boyce is confident Wigan will not take their eye off the ball when it comes to the league and cited the experience of Birmingham, who won the League Cup in 2011 but were relegated.

He said: "You just have to look at Birmingham a couple of years ago. I don't know whether they took their minds off the Premier League, but they got relegated.

"We need to stay in the Premier League, that's the be all and end all. We know how football can change so quickly. We can go into the semi-final on track to have a great finish to the season or it could be a big disappointment."

Wigan will also have to deal with the pressure of being big favourites to reach the final - against Chelsea or Manchester City - given they are meeting a Championship club.

Boyce knows it is a great opportunity but is confident his side will take nothing for granted.

"We're not going to underestimate Millwall," he said. "They'll go into the semi-final thinking they've got a great chance of beating us so we've got to go there and put in a professional performance and it's going to be a hard game no matter what.

"It's up to us to take the game to them and get the result that we need. For the first time probably all the pressure's on Wigan."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

eak points? Play like Villa should work easily enough.

plughead80
Ludogorets target 'weaknesses'

T

hose tight polo shirts he's been wearing on the touchline this season make him look like a lady on a golfing holiday.

walter white
Football Managers On TV: Neil Warnock

A

s a great man once said: Nothing ever changes by staying the same.

walter white
Just Put Him Out Of His Misery...

Footer 365

Premier League: West Ham come from behind twice at Hull City to earn 2-2 draw

West Ham twice came from behind to earn a battling 2-2 draw with Hull City in an entertaining clash at the KC Stadium.

Champions League: Martin Skrtel won't play for Liverpool against Ludogorets

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed defender Martin Skrtel will not be risked in Liverpool's return to the Champions League.

Champions League: Arsenal face defensive crisis for Borussia Dortmund trip

Arsenal are facing a defensive crisis ahead of their Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Mail Box

Woke Up This Morning Feeling Fine...

Man United fans are a more than a tad excited, Liverpool fans are a little depressed and we have mails on Mesut Ozil, Newcastle, Aston Villa and lots more...

Fixing The Mess At Old Trafford

Plenty of conclusions on United's win over QPR and their missing link(s), more Ozil frustration, how Liverpool are like lasagne, as well as a word on Diego Costa's temperament...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property