Thursday, September 21, 2017

Whelan: FA Cup win would not make up for relegation

SoccerNews in FA Cup 3 May 2013

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Wigan owner Dave Whelan has warned that winning the FA Cup will count for nothing if his side are relegated from the Premier League.

Roberto Martinez’s side have flirted with relegation in the past couple of seasons and been able to lift themselves out of the bottom three just in time, but with only a handful of matches remaining, Whelan knows the players will need to put in a lot of hard work to secure a ninth straight season in the Premier League.

The Lancashire club will take on Manchester City in the Wembley final on May 11 and, although Whelan acknowledges winning the trophy “would be amazing”, he does not want it to come at the cost of their top-flight status.

“Survival in the Premier League remains the number one priority for this football club,” he told The Evening Post.

“Winning the FA Cup would be amazing, but not if it comes at the expense of us losing our Premier League status.

“You always have to concentrate on one game at a time, and for us that is West Brom in the Premier League. The feeling in the camp now is one of total concentration ahead of the West Brom game.

“We’ve got a couple of massive games in the league before we go to Wembley, and the lads will be up for them – big style.”

Wigan travel to the Hawthorns on Saturday, where they have enjoyed fine form in recent seasons having avoided defeat in their last four.

They are currently sat 18th in the Premier League, five points adrift of Aston Villa with a game in hand and Whelan knows how crucial it is that they come away with a win.

“It’s a massive game for us – and we all know that,” he added. “We have to go there and win. We have to win.

“We actually went to West Brom last year and won 1-0, and it will be a real fight again this time. They’ve played well this season, even though they have had a bit of a patchy run of late.

“They showed last week at Southampton what they are capable of, when they won 3-0, and we have to be ready for that.”

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