Ainsworth eyes home improvement

BY foxsports • April 14, 2013

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez says chairman Dave Whelan will lead the team out in the FA Cup final.

Latics reached the showpiece for the first time in the club's history with a 2-0 victory over Millwall, 53 years after Whelan broke his leg playing for Blackburn in the 1960 final.

"Yes, we will get the chairman leading the team out," Martinez confirmed. "It will bring full circle his time with the FA Cup."

Asked what reaching the final means, he said: "It means a lot as you can imagine. Not just the first time we're playing in a semi-final but the opportunity to reach the final, it's a big, big achievement for the players and they deserved it.

"So do the fans. A lot of people judge us on the numbers but it's about the quality of the numbers."

He admitted Millwall made them work hard for it: "We did expect that. Huge credit to Millwall who competed until the last second and there were plenty of difficult situations as they can be quite powerful.

"To handle being the favourites in a semi-final can be tough but I thought we did that magnificently, from the young players to the experienced players there was a real togetherness."

Shaun Maloney and Callum McManaman scored the goals, and Martinez had praise for the latter, who will make the headlines for the right reasons after his nasty tackle on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara on his Premier League debut last month.

"It's great to see that it's now all about his talent," Martinez said. "He's an attacker, not a defender, and who can see that in how he takes the goal. He seems like he's been playing at Wembley many, many times.

"The whole situation has been very, very unfair on him, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but today we saw the real Callum McManaman."

The bottom-of-the-table Shots are three points adrift of safety after former striker Joel Grant scored midway through the second half to ensure Wycombe came out on top at Adams Park.

Aldershot drew 1-1 with promotion-chasing Port Vale in midweek but failed to match that display at Wycombe and Scott conceded they need to find their shooting boots and remember how to defend if they are to beat the drop with just three games remaining.

"You've got to score goals to win games and we weren't ruthless enough," said Scott, whose side are three points adrift of safety.

"This has highlighted why we're bottom of the league and why it's been such a long season for everybody.

"This is an opportunity missed if we had won we would have got out the bottom two but we've put ourselves in a position where we're up against it and the games are running out.

"It's very disappointing after Tuesday night that we didn't play with the organisation and effort that we did there but we're not scoring goals when we get the opportunities.

"We can't keep having the ups and downs that we've had - we had such a good performance Tuesday and times running out.

"If you defend like we did you're going to concede goals. We didn't do enough in the first-half and defended individually in the second half which is unlike us and it costs you games."

Matt McClure put Wycombe ahead early in the second half before Craig Stanley equalised for the away team, only for Joel Grant to pounce against his former club after 75 minutes.

"To be a top side you've got to do well at home and today's a good step in creating a home fortress and I want people to come here fearing they're going to get a tough game," he said.

"The way we attacked we looked like we could score a lot of goals. It's a great win for us and I'm really happy with where we are but we're really desperate to get into the top half now.

"There's no nothing games, every games got something on it. People are probably coming here thinking Wycombe have nothing to play for and how wrong they're going to be because we've got everything to play for.

"I've got a proud set of lads here who want to win and finish the season on a high.

"I'm a big believer in momentum if we can finish the season on a high we can take it into next season and hopefully build on this."

share story