Perch fishing for Premier League

James Perch celebrates his goal against Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-final at The Etihad
James Perch celebrates his goal against Manchester City in the FA Cup quarter-final at The Etihad
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JAMES Perch reckons Wigan Athletic have proved they can mix it with the best during their FA Cup run.

And he wants Latics to make sure they are back in the top flight on a permanent basis next term.

Latics came within a penalty shoot-out of a second FA Cup final in a row, only to lose to Arsenal. And having put out three Premier League sides en route to the last four – Crystal Palace, Cardiff and Manchester City – Perch says they belong in that company.

“Saturday was a good marker of where we want to be, it’s something we’ve done all season,” he told the Evening Post. “That’s four Premier League sides we’ve played, and we’ve beaten three of them and taken a fourth to penalties.

“That’s where we want to be, and we need to use the rest of the league campaign to make sure we’re playing them again next season. That would be massive for us, it’s what we’re aiming for.

“That was the main priority at the start of the season, to get back into the Premier League, and it’s still within reach. Hopefully we can use this experience to come back stronger next time.

“Most of the lads have played in the Premier League, and everybody wants to get back. Once you’ve been there you miss it, and hopefully we’ll be back up next season.”