ROBERTO Martinez insists this weekend’s FA Cup clash at Huddersfield is every bit as important as any of the remaining Premier League games.
Latics travel to the John Smiths Stadium looking to book their place in the last eight of the FA Cup for only the second time.
Some might see Sunday’s tie as a distraction, given Wigan’s precarious standing on the league ladder.
However, despite Latics facing a massive six-pointer at Reading tomorrow week, Martinez says his full attention is on the trip to West Yorkshire.
“I don’t see it as one game being more important than another,” Martinez told the Evening Post.
“I look at every game we have left as being vital.
“Every game we have left now is a cup final for one reason or another.
“And every player who is selected to play for any of the games will be worthy of the shirt and be competitive in what we want him to do.
“The way the season has shaped for us – and the way we have been able to use the FA Cup to give a lot of good playing time to the youngsters in our squad – Sunday will be a welcome distraction from our league programme.
“It will also be a glorious opportunity for us to reach the quarter-finals for only the second time in our history.”
Latics arrived back in the North West yesterday after a short training camp in Tenerife, with Martinez hoping a blast of warm-weather will have the same effect on the squad as last year’s trip to Oman.
Wigan only found out on Tuesday night that their opponents on Sunday will be Huddersfield, who overcame Leicester 2-1 in a fourth-round replay. However, Martinez doesn’t feel his preparations for the game have been unduly hampered.
“It could have been a disadvantage in terms of not knowing the identity of the opposition until late in the day, but Huddersfield are in the same position so it doesn’t really matter,” the Wigan boss added.
“We are under no illusions – Huddersfield will be on their own ground, they have played very well to get this far, and they will present a formidable challenge for us.”