KEIR RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: Roberto Martinez had little time to enjoy the sensation of pulling off the greatest FA Cup Final shock for more than two decades.
Within hours of Wigan’s 1-0 win over the millionaires of Manchester City he and his players were heading for home aware that they have ‘two more cup finals’ ahead of them in the next seven days.
To escape relegation injury-weakened Wigan must win back down in London at Arsenal on Tuesday and then at home to Aston Villa next Sunday. Their focus and the timeline is so tight that even a celebratory glass of champagne was banned.
The topsy-turvy nature of victory against all the odds was illustrated, for Martinez, by the winning goal coming from substitute Ben Watson who might not even have been fit for the final.
Martinez said: “The whole journey of Wigan Athletic with this FA Cup has been full of stories like his. Ben broke his leg and the medical department told us he would be out for the season but he worked extra hours and comes back and scores our winner.
“I’ve seen movies with worse scripts than that. He’s a great example for any youngster who wants to play football.”
Quite properly Martinez was thrilled by the vindication of the positive manner in which he and his players had approached the game.
He said: “The proudest thing for Wigan Athletic and our fans was that we didn’t go in for damage limitation and hope to get a break. To be able to produce that level of performance and be the better side over the course of the game was very pleasing.
“We were very solid. We kept Manchester City to one open good chance in the first half . . . and that shows how well defended throughout the game.”
Tuesday, against Arsenal however, with league survival at stake, is another day.
Martinez said: “We can recover from today from an emotional point of view yes but from a physical point of view I’m not sure. We already have six or seven players missing through injury.
“We do our best through adversity and don’t moan about it but it is a shame the final could not have been the final game of the season but whatever happens nobody will take away the trophy and the proud moment.
“I know that winning the FA Cup is something special in the British game and it’s inspirational to other clubs that you can start in the lowest division and go to the highest division for eight years and win the FA Cup and that’s incredible.
“Now, to move to the next level, we need to stay in the Premier League.”