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Martinez focused only on Wigan

Roberto Martinez has no intention of allowing speculation over a move to Everton to get in the way of Wigan's first FA Cup final.

Last Updated: 09/05/13 at 15:44 Post Comment

Roberto Martinez: Plenty to keep him occupied

Roberto Martinez: Plenty to keep him occupied

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has no intention of allowing speculation over a summer move to Everton to get in the way of his side's first FA Cup final.

The Latics head to Wembley anchored in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone knowing their manager is hot favourite to replace David Moyes at Goodison Park following Thursday's confirmation he will leave the club at the end of the season.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has already added his voice to the debate, insisting the Toffeemen are not a big enough club to attract someone of Martinez's calibre.

However, whilst he allowed himself a chuckle at Whelan's intervention, it is clearly not a debate Martinez is prepared to get into, either with the media or, more importantly, Everton - at least not now.

"It would be a waste of time for anyone at the moment," said Martinez.

"The chairman has a fantastic knowledge about the game and you can ask him anything. He will never turn away from an answer.

"But the most important thing for me is to be ready for Saturday.

"Whatever people say doesn't affect us. This is the peak of our season and we are not going to lose any focus or concentration.

"All that matters is Wigan Athletic. We need to fight to make our fans proud."

It is a shame for Wigan that the build-up to the biggest day in their entire history should be overshadowed by discussion of Martinez's future.

Yet it is part of the club's DNA to operate in the shadows given the enormous status of the clubs who surround them.

On one side, Merseyside, whose other mighty club had discussions with Martinez about filling their managerial vacancy last summer.

On the other, a club whose departing manager has made front and back page headlines in every corner of the globe over the past 24 hours, and another in Roberto Mancini, who will stand at the opposite end of Wembley in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

"We all know Manchester City are the major favourites and rightly so," said Martinez.

"But there are many examples of major upsets in the past.

"It can happen but we will have to be perfect."

Wigan's obvious problem is a lack of defenders.

Maynor Figueroa, Jean Beausejour and Ivan Ramis would all have started but are definitely out.

Antolin Alcaraz has only a "50-50" chance of making it according to Martinez, whilst even back-up wing-back Ronnie Stam will miss out after damaging ankle ligaments in a one-minute appearance during Tuesday's shattering home defeat by Swansea.

It is all a bit unsatisfactory, especially as the story of Whelan leading out his team, 53 years after his own FA Cup final appearance ended with a broken leg and a 4-0 defeat for Blackburn is a genuine good news story.

"The emotional side of the game is down to our chairman," said Martinez.

"His attachment to this competition is quite rare.

"He ended that final in 1960 with a feeling of unfinished business so we are all excited about the prospect of him being able to lead the team out and complete the circle in this competition."


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