Latics have Jean for the road

Jean Beausejour has previous Wembley experience
Jean Beausejour has previous Wembley experience

JEAN Beausejour will have an added role this weekend as Wigan Athletic face Millwall at Wembley - the Chile international is the only member of the Latics squad who has played at the national stadium before.

As well as being charged with being Wigan’s major source of creativity down the left wing, Beausejour will also be doubling up as his club’s Wembley tour guide.

Because the Chile international is the only member of the Latics squad who has played at the national stadium before.

Beausejour helped Birmingham to shock hot-favourites Arsenal to win the Carling Cup of 2011.

That joy was tempered by the fact Blues went on to get relegated from the Premier League later that season – something he is keen to avoid happening this term.

But the left-sided ace has been telling his Wigan team-mates they are in for a real treat this weekend.

“The main thing I remember is the Wembley atmosphere being fantastic,” Beausejour acknowledged.

“And it was an unbelievable situation because we won in the last minute.

“I remember the Birmingham supporters there in their thousands, and when we saw the stadium it was magnificent.

“I remember only this moment and then winning the cup. Unbelievable.”

It was Beausejour’s first experience of Wembley and, although he started on the bench, it could hardly have been any more dramatic.

“I came on as substitute for Craig Gardner and in the last minute we scored,” he remembered.

“People thought it would be too difficult for us, Arsenal had many attacks, many chances.

“But Ben Foster was man of the match and we held on for the win.

“I know the season did not finish well for Birmingham, and for that reason I have a little bit of fear about things now with Wigan.

“Normally when you play two competitions at the same time, if the squad is not too strong, it becomes too tough.”

But Beausejour believes Wigan can avoid falling into the same trap of experiencing cup success and then suffering relegation.

“I don’t think the two situations are the same,” he insisted.

“It was different at Birmingham. I feel we relaxed a little bit after winning the cup, because the situation in the table was totally different than now with Wigan.

“We are in the relegation zone now, whereas Birmingham were much higher. Being too relaxed affected us with Birmingham.

“In our case now, the cup is the relaxation (not the league). It is the opposite situation.

“The squads are totally different, and the situation in the table is totally different.

“If we reach the final, it won’t change the opinion of the team, because we are fighting against relegation.”

Some experts fear Wigan may pay the penalty for not prioritising the league over the cup.

But Beausejour rejects the notion that the players will go into the game blissfully unaware of the bigger picture.

“It is not necessary for the manager to tell us about our priorities,” he remarked.

“We recognise that the situation in the Premier League is difficult.

“There is no need to tell us. Everyone knows the situation.”

Beausejour also laughs off the theory Wigan risk becoming the victims of complacency ahead of their semi-final with the Championship outfit.

“The principle is to be focused,” he recognised.

“This week it is Millwall in the FA Cup. Next week it is Manchester City in the Premier League. I don’t think there will be complacency in the situation we are in.

“It is a semi-final. You know you will face a strong team in the semi-final, and we will respect them.”

Beausejour is also well aware that, because of the presence of himself and Angelo Henriquez in the Wigan side, tomorrow’s game will be big news back home in Chile.

“We have many players in Europe, with a few in the Champions League, but people will also be interested in how Wigan get on,” he added.