David Moyes admits his West Ham side will have to be on their guard this afternoon against a ‘good’ Wigan Athletic outfit who are capable of springing another FA Cup shock.
Latics dumped fellow Premier League outfit Bournemouth out of the competition in the third round, and Moyes is well aware of the threat posed by Paul Cook’s men.
“Wigan are a good side and play good football,” said Moyes. “It’ll be a tough game.
“Paul Cook has done a fantastic job. But their priority will be to get back into the Championship and maybe the Premier League again one day.”
Moyes then went a step further by suggesting Latics may be regretting their decision to prioritise the FA Cup five years ago, when they also suffered the drop from the top flight.
“It’s a strange thing they won the FA Cup and were relegated five years ago,” continued Moyes.
“If you look back and ask Wigan if they’d rather have won the cup or stayed in the Premier League, I think their people would have rather stayed in the Premier League.
“There is nothing more than to give the club a day out at Wembley.
“If you ask any club, they’d all like that to happen.
“But there’s always a bigger picture, and that’s keeping us in the Premier League, as the finances are far greater than winning the cup.
“I’d like to win it, but the priority is making sure we’re a Premier League club.”
Moyes’ comments have already provoked an angry response in Wigan, with hundreds of fans immediately taking to social media to say they would not swap the cup win for Premier League status.
Latics boss Paul Cook, speaking at his pre-game conference, played a textbook straight bat when asked about the comments, although he did sympathise with the fans.
“I’m not going to start arguing with David Moyes,” Cook said. “I think that’s a different time and era.
“Nowadays money has taken over football memories.
“If that’s the case going forward then it’s not great for the game, is it?
“It’s a debatable question. From the players, and the different stuff, to be relegated so quickly after winning the FA Cup would bring mixed emotions because you will go from elation to another thing.
“For me, I think staying in the Premier League would be great.
“But then if you are Wigan fan the memories of winning an actual trophy.
“If you look now at some of the biggest teams in the country, people go a long time without winning trophies.
“Those moments are what supporters live for, so I’d like a trophy.
“Fans want those days. I’m a football fan myself and you live for those moments, and those days away. You remember them forever.
“That’s why you travel and why West Ham are bringing 5,000 fans.
“Those fans are desperate to get to Wembley and win a trophy.
“That’s football today.”