1. ITV Report

Wigan and Man City prepare for FA Cup final

Wigan Athletic and Manchester City travel to Wembley for FA Cup Final Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Roberto Martinez will keep his focus firmly on Wigan's dual target of FA Cup glory and Barclays Premier League survival as speculation about his future grows.

Confirmation of David Moyes' departure from Everton to join Manchester United yesterday afternoon saw Latics boss Martinez swiftly installed as favourite for the Goodison Park hotseat two days before his club's first FA Cup final against Manchester City.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has already added his voice to the debate, insisting the Toffeemen are not a big enough club to attract someone of Martinez's calibre.

However, whilst he allowed himself a chuckle at Whelan's intervention, it is clearly not a debate Martinez is prepared to get into, either with the media or, more importantly, Everton - at least not now.

"It would be a waste of time for anyone at the moment," said Martinez.

"The chairman has a fantastic knowledge about the game and you can ask him anything. He will never turn away from an answer.

"But the most important thing for me is to be ready for Saturday.

"Whatever people say doesn't affect us. This is the peak of our season and we are not going to lose any focus or concentration.

"All that matters is Wigan Athletic. We need to fight to make our fans proud."

It is a shame for Wigan that the build-up to the biggest day in their entire history should be overshadowed by discussion of Martinez's future and the managerial manoeuvres triggered by Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.

Yet it is part of the club's DNA to operate in the shadows given the enormous status of the clubs who surround them.

On one side, Merseyside, whose other mighty club had discussions with Martinez about filling their managerial vacancy last summer.

On the other, a club whose departing manager has made front and back page headlines in every corner of the globe over the past 24 hours, and another in Roberto Mancini, who will stand at the opposite end of Wembley on Saturday.

"We all know Manchester City are the major favourites and rightly so," said Martinez.

"But there are many examples of major upsets in the past. It can happen but we will have to be perfect."

Tomorrow will be a hugely significant day for Whelan, who will lead out his team 53 years after his own FA Cup final appearance ended with a broken leg and a 4-0 defeat for Blackburn.

"The emotional side of the game is down to our chairman," said Martinez.

"His attachment to this competition is quite rare.

"He ended that final in 1960 with a feeling of unfinished business so we are all excited about the prospect of him being able to lead the team out and complete the circle in this competition."


January 5 Third Round v Bournemouth (H) 1-1

Eunan O'Kane gave the League One side the lead just before half-time with a 20-yard strike but Jordi Gomez avoided an upset by scoring his own 70th-minute penalty rebound.

January 15 Third Round replay v Bournemouth (A) 1-0

Argentinian striker Mauro Boselli scored his first - and possibly last - FA Cup goal but probably his most important goal for the club to secure progress.

January 26 Fourth Round v Macclesfield (A) 1-0

Another Gomez penalty after just seven minutes against the Conference side, the lowest ranked left in the competition, proved just enough to sneak through.

February 17 Fifth Round v Huddersfield (A) 4-1

Latics' most comfortable win on their way to Wembley as Callum McManaman, Arouna Kone and James McArthur putthem 3-0 up inside an hour with Kone grabbing a late second after Lee Novak had pulled one back.

March 9 Quarter-final v Everton (A) 3-0

A blistering spell of just 202 seconds in the first half stunned Everton as Maynor Figueroa, McManaman and Gomez all scored within quick succession.

April 13 Semi-final v Millwall (Wembley) 2-0

An inspired performance from Shaun Maloney was rewarded with a goal midway through the first half and McManamanmade sure of a place in the final with the vital second 12 minutes from time.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has warned that the FA Cup final against Wigan will be much tougher than many think.

City are odds-on favourites to claim the trophy at Wembley on Saturday, with Wigan's preparations having been overshadowed by their battle against relegation.

Yet, despite the Latics being in deep trouble at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League, Kompany rates them highly.

Wigan outplayed City for large spells of their meeting at the Etihad Stadium last month - only to lose to a late Carlos Tevez goal - and Kompany thinks they have been one of the season's toughest opponents.

That is some compliment from the skipper of a side that has faced two Champions League semi-finalists in Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid this term.

Kompany said: "They are one of the more difficult sides we have played this season.

"You can see it's a team that doesn't fear keeping possession.

"When it's going well for them they are a very difficult team to play against. We have to be careful.

"When they played at Etihad, they were really good and caused us a lot of trouble.

"But we managed it really well in the end. We didn't concede and we won the game.

"I think they are a good team and if people think they will be easy then it is a mistake."

City rested several players for their midweek win over West Brom in preparation for the final.

Kompany, Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy were given the night off while Sergio Aguero and David Silva did not get off the bench.

There was some concern about Toure, with the influential midfielder also withdrawn at half-time of last week's game at Swansea through fatigue, but he has declared himself fit.

The 29-year-old, who scored the winner against Stoke in the 2011 final, said: "I am good. Sometimes it is difficult to play all the games at the same level and sometimes you can get an injury.

"But we have worked on that, trying to keep injury far away and try to concentrate on delivering at the weekend.

"I am already fit. I started training three days ago and I am well in now.

"I want to deliver a good game and help the team to achieve something important."

Winger Scott Sinclair is out of contention after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in shoulder, but otherwise City have no major injury concerns.

Back-up goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon is expected to be selected ahead of England number one Joe Hart, having played in all the previous rounds.


January 5 Third round v Watford (H) 3-0

Mario Balotelli was the focus of attention pre match after a training ground bust-up with Roberto Mancini, but Carlos Tevez made the headlines on the pitch. The Argentinian struck a superb free-kick and Gareth Barry and youngster Marcos Lopes also found the target in a routine win.

January 26 Fourth round v Stoke (A) 1-0

David Silva hit the post early on for City but a tight contest at the Britannia Stadium was not settled until Pablo Zabaleta struck from close range five minutes from time.

February 17 Fifth round v Leeds (H) 4-0

City responded to a damaging Premier League loss at Southampton by outclassing Championship side Leeds. Yaya Toure began the procession early on before Sergio Aguero added a penalty and a fine finish either side of a close-range Tevez effort.

March 9 Quarter-finals v Barnsley (H) 5-0

Barnsley were swept aside in even more clinical fashion as the outstanding Tevez, putting aside off-field problems after being arrested on suspicion of driving whilst disqualified, plundered a hat-trick. For good measure, the striker also set up goals for Aleksandar Kolarov and Silva.

April 14 Semi-finals v Chelsea (Wembley) 2-1

For just over an hour, City were outstanding, building up a seemingly comfortable lead through Samir Nasri and a rare Aguero header. The closing stages required resilience after Demba Ba pulled one back but City came through, surviving controversies over an Aguero tackle and a rejected Chelsea penalty appeal.

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