Paul Cook insists Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Manchester City will allow everyone connected with Wigan Athletic to ‘have a really good day’.
But the Latics boss insists it will only be so if his players do themselves justice – and fight the runaway Premier League leaders every inch of the way.
“Obviously the league is our major concern,” acknowledged Cook.
“But as the Man City game approaches, everyone at the club has earned the right to have a really good day.
“And I don’t mean a really good day where we’re celebrating being involved in the fixture.
“I’m talking about celebrating being involved in a really competitive game.
“That’s what we want it to be.
“We have the utmost respect for Man City, as I’m sure everybody does in English football.
“But we must do our best – the lads, the staff – to believe that the key moments in the game can go for us.”
Latics go into the game on the back of two league defeats in a row – their worst spell under Cook – but the manager is hoping to use that dip in form to his advantage.
“I think sometimes disappointment can be a good thing,” he contended.
“Momentum is great when you’re on a run, but sometimes disappointment must sink in for you to react to it.
“Obviously we go into the FA Cup now, which is another challenge for us, and it allows other teams to gain on us in the league.
“But when the dust settles, if we win our games in hand, we go back top of the table.
“Nobody gave Wigan a chance of beating Man City in the FA Cup final of 2013, but football has a funny way of sending up funny results.
“I know the task for us is even greater than back then.
“But if our belief isn’t the same, then there’s no point playing the game.”