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Martinez shuns Everton talk to focus on final

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09 May 2013 13:26:44

Martinez shuns Everton talk to focus on final

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez says speculation linking him with the Everton job will not distract him from a shot at FA Cup glory on Saturday.

Martinez is believed to be among the leading candidates to replace Manchester United-bound David Moyes as Everton manger.

But the Spaniard insists his focus for the time being is on beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium and safeguarding Wigan's future in the Premier League.

"At this moment in time it would be a waste of time," Martinez said when asked if there had been any contact by Everton.

"It doesn't affect us. That's where we are. Speculation? That's part of the job.

"The most important aspect is to be as ready as we can for Saturday and then we've got another two incredible finals in the league.

"This is the peak time for Wigan Athletic and we need to make sure we are ready to allow our fans to be very, very proud and enjoy a really strong ending to the season. That's what we have to fight for.

"Right now we are facing an FA Cup final that we know is going to be extremely difficult, but all we are concentrating on is trying to win a football game. We are trying to be as competitive as we can."

Wigan made costly defensive mistakes in their last Premier League game against Swansea City, a 3-2 home defeat, which Martinez conceded afterwards were a result of the tension of a relegation battle.

However, he does not expect them to suffer from any such pressures against City at Wembley.

"I think in football, when you play with a fear of something to lose, which can happen when you're in a battle to avoid relegation, sometimes you can make cagey decisions because you are playing with that fear," he said.

"I think when you play in an FA Cup final, you haven't got that feeling. You are playing to have something to win and that freedom allows you to enjoy your football a little bit more.

"This group of players is ready. They are ready to face the occasion on Saturday. We know that we are underdogs and we play one of the biggest teams in European football, and that's what the FA Cup is all about."

Martinez remains confident his players can cope with the physical challenge of three season-defining matches in eight days, with Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and Aston Villa to follow the FA Cup final, but the 39-year-old admits the issue of mental tiredness will be a more significant obstacle.

"What we need to cope with is playing with the emotions of a Wembley appearance in an FA Cup final and then being able to perform three days later," he added.

"The mental fatigue is something that we overcome now. That comes when you have a lot of games and you don't see the end of that work.

"Now it's a very clear challenge, the one we've got. We've got an incredible final and then two games in the league. So fatigue is not something that comes into it."

Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz is rated "50-50" to feature against City as he battles to recover from a hamstring injury but Maynor Figueroa, Jean Beausejour and Ronnie Stam are all out.


AFP

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