UWE Rosler insists he would never dream of ‘devaluing’ the FA Cup - and wants Wigan Athletic to defend the famous trophy with honour and pride.
Latics open up the defence of the cup they won so famously at Wembley last May against MK Dons at the DW Stadium.
Rosler has pledged to shuffle his pack for the game, primarily to freshen things up after a hectic recent run of matches.
But the German, whose Brentford side took mighty Chelsea to a fourth-round replay in last year’s competition, says the team will be going all-out for victory.
“I will be making changes, but I want to make it clear that it is absolutely not because I want to devalue the competition,” he told the Evening Post.
“I am a massive fan of the FA Cup, having enjoyed a fantastic run only last year with Brentford, and also having some fabulous memories from my playing days. But when the players have been putting so much in recently, you are risking injuries by asking them to play again and again.
“There will be fresh blood coming in, but I feel everyone is capable of contributing to our success.”
That could mean recalls for the likes of Grant Holt and Jordi Gomez, although Rob Kiernan is ineligible after turning out for Southend in the competition during his loan spell.
There promises to be a real party atmosphere among a Wigan fanbase still coming to terms with the events of May 11, 2013.
And despite not having been at the club then - and indeed being a former favourite at beaten finalists Manchester City - it’s something Rosler wants to embrace.
“I hope so,” he added. “I want everyone to come along and support the team and enjoy the occasion.
“The boys have shown me already that they are a great bunch, with great quality, and I think they deserve all the support they can get.” Latics go into the game in good form, on the back of a five-match unbeaten league run since Rosler took charge.
The latest victory, a 1-0 victory at in-form Derby, moved them to within three points of the play-offs with a game still in hand, and Rosler admits he’s happy with the way things are going.
“I was very pleased with how we performed at Derby - apart from the last 10 minutes,” he acknowledged.
We played different to how they expected us to play - we decided not to play our passing game that we had in previous weeks.
“It was a great day for us, to beat a team who had gone so long without losing under their new manager.
“I told the lads that if we could get through to half-time at 0-0 we would win the game, and the lads believed me on that one.
“The challenge now is to keep the run going, and I am confident we will be able to do that.”
Meanwhile, youngster Adam Buxton has joined Burton Albion on a one-month loan deal.