WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez expects tonight’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Bolton to go ‘all the way’ – even to a dreaded penalty shoot-out.
The two north-west neighbours will do battle again for the right to travel to Fulham in round five after drawing 0-0 in the first game at the Reebok Stadium.
Both Premier League fixtures this season also ended all-square – the teams sharing two goals at the DW back in October and then again in Horwich last month.
But there must be a victor tonight, and Martinez is predicting a real Lancashire hotpot for the fans.
He told the Evening Post: “It has to finish tonight, and that’s a good thing because the odds are great it could go all the way again.
“All the players know each other quite well – there are no secrets between the two sides.
“We have seen three draws this season but with a huge amount of chances to both sides – which makes for another very open game.
“It will boil down to which team will take its chances better, because the chances will undoubtedly be there.”
The Spaniard also revealed the Wigan players have been practicing penalties on the training ground this week in case it goes that way.
He also admitted that the mentality of those putting the ball on the spot will be far more important than technique.
“It’s all about mentality, definitely,” he added.
“I’ve seen the best technical players in the world get over-awed by a penalty shoot-out, and they’ve not been able to perform their skills.
“Similarly, there are players who are maybe not as gifted but don’t get affected by pressure – and they are the ones you want.
“We have been practicing penalties this week, and it’s important to do so.
“Taking penalties takes a certain technical skill that you have to perfect, although the emotion of taking a penalty with a real meaning of going through to the next round is something you cannot replicate.”
Martinez looks set to continue his policy of ringing the changes for cup ties, with the likes of Adrian Lopez, Jordi Gomez, Ronnie Stam and Steven Caldwell set to feature.
Victor Moses is also poised to start the game, as he continues his comeback from a dislocated shoulder.
“If you look at the standard of Victor’s performances since he’s been back, they’ve been fantastic,” Martinez added.
“He is the kind of player who can turn good performances into wins and every team needs that kind of player.”
Conor Sammon and Tom Cleverley are cup-tied and goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi is unable to face his parent club, although all three would be available for the next round should Latics progress.