Gary Caldwell insists Wigan Athletic will not require any extra motivation to see off struggling Peterborough today – despite being on the receiving end of a dig from Posh boss Graham Westley.
Westley was recently asked during a talkSPORT debate whether the winners of the FA Cup should gain an automatic spot in the Champions League.
His reply, that ‘with respect’, Wigan would have ‘dishonoured’ Europe’s premier club competition had they qualified in 2013-14, sparked a furious response from Wiganers on social media.
However, Caldwell has laughed off the comments, and said they would not form part of his pre-match preparations.
“It doesn’t bother me, things like that, what people say – that’s his opinion,” said the Latics boss.
“If there was a Champions League spot for the FA Cup winners, then we would have earned it as much as anyone else.
“We had to beat big clubs, big teams, and we did magnificently well to win a huge competition.
“Unfortunately there wasn’t a Champions League place, but there was a Europa League place, and playing in that was an amazing achievement for this club.
“Whether the powers-that-be give a Champions League spot to the FA Cup winners in future, I’m unsure.
“But if they do, whoever wins the FA Cup would deserve to be in there.”
Caldwell says Latics don’t need any added incentive to win this game, adding: “If you need to use things like that as motivation, then you’re not motivated enough as a team.
“Our motivation comes from within, from the demands we place on each other every day.”
Caldwell also insists there’s no danger of anyone at Wigan taking Peterborough lightly, despite a wretched run of results that’s seen them go from play-off probables to relegation possibles.
“Their FA Cup run was excellent, and that can sometimes have an effect on the league season,” the Wigan boss recognised.
“But they’ll be a dangerous opponent, because any team that’s lost a few in a row can hurt you because they’re highly-motivated to put it right.
“They’re dangerous anyway because of the way they play – they leave people up the pitch, they ask questions of you defensively, and they score a lot of goals.
“We know it will be difficult, and we know we’ll have to play on the front foot, with the confidence we’ve shown at the DW recently.”