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 yesterday’s confirmation he will leave the club at the end of the season to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
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 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.”
Moyes was yesterday appointed United’s new manager on a six-year deal.
He succeeds Ferguson, who announced on Wednesday he was retiring at the end of this season after 26 years in the hot-seat.