UWE Rosler admits Sunday’s return to Manchester City will be ‘a very emotional occasion’.
But the German insists he is ‘110 per cent focused’ on helping Wigan Athletic stay on the Wembley trail.
Latics travel to the Etihad this weekend in a repeat of last season’s never-to-be-forgotten FA Cup final.
On that occasion, Rosler was cheering on City, whose fans still worship him from his Maine Road playing days.
However, 10 months on, Rosler is firmly in the Latics camp – and hell-bent on masterminding another Latics cup upset.
“It will be a very special day for me, my players and the Wigan Athletic supporters,” Rosler told the Evening Post.
“We’re not in the Premier League any more, and we don’t get the chance to play against teams like Manchester City every week.
“It’s obviously an emotional game for myself, but what I have to try and do is take the emotion out of it.
“It won’t be easy, but I can do it.
“My owner, my staff, my players and the supporters will expect only 110 per cent from me, and that is what they are going to get.
“It would be very difficult for me to deny the emotional bond I will always have with Manchester City.
“But I can promise everyone that for 90 minutes, maybe more, I will be doing everything I can to help Wigan Athletic win the tie.”
As Rosler points out, his players only need look back to that famous day last May for inspiration.
“This football club showed 10 months ago what can be achieved – and that is what we must try to replicate,” added Rosler, whose side go into the game having lost only two of their previous 18 matches
“Like everybody else I thought Manchester City would win that game.
“But Wigan’s victory just showed how wonderful football is – and can be again.”
City have already wrapped up the first silverware of the season by picking up the Capital One Cup last weekend with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland. And Manuel Pellegrini’s men are still in with a chance of scooping an unprecedented quadruple.
Despite the fact they could fall nine points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea this weekend, they would have three games in hand.
And although they must claw back a two-goal deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16, Rosler for one refuses to write them off.
“City are a different side than they were for the FA Cup final,” he acknowledged.
“They are coming in on the back of a Capital One Cup victory, they are also chasing the Premier League title, and they are still in the Champions League.
“But I have to say that my players have been very good since I’ve been here, they’ve really surprised me – in a good way.
“There is a real confidence around the place at the moment, and I will tell my players to enjoy the occasion.
“Our chances are not sky-high, but anything can happen in football.”