Huddersfield V Wigan at John Smith's Stadium : Match Preview
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Robins begins new era in cup
Huddersfield's FA Cup clash with Wigan will mark the start of a new era at the club with an excited Mark Robins taking charge for the first time.
The former Rotherham boss became the third Town manager in a year this week, following his decision to leave Coventry just five months after taking charge.
In that time he had dragged the Sky Blues away from the relegation zone to just outside the npower League One play-off places. But the chance to be involved in the Terriers' ambitious plans was took good to refuse for the 43-year-old.
"There was a synergy between what the club wants and the way I've been working," said Robins. "It's an exciting project, there's no doubt about it. There has been a lot of investment, as you can see with all the work going on at the training facility.
"There's been investment in the team too and the attraction stems from the owner. I've admired what Dean Hoyle has done from afar in taking this club forward."
Town chairman Hoyle has big plans for the club but he has shown his ruthlessness with managers over the past 12 months when he feels they are not fulfilling his ambitions.
In February last year, Lee Clark had the Terriers fourth in League One, having led them to the play-off final the season before. But Hoyle did not believe the former Newcastle player could take the club into the Championship, and promptly replaced him with Simon Grayson.
Grayson led Town to promotion at the first attempt, thanks to a penalty shoot-out win over Sheffield United in the play-off final, but after a good start in the Championship, the club went 12 games without a win.
With Town's league status threatened, Grayson was sacked. After three weeks searching for the perfect candidate, Hoyle now thinks he has found him.
"Mark has shown his skill in getting the most from the resources at his disposal, none more so than his recent achievements at Coventry," he told the club's official website. "He has also shown an ability to develop young players. His work with the FA on the Elite Player Performance Plan and his commitment to development was a big factor in his appointment."
Defender Peter Clarke and on-loan midfielder Neil Danns will return to contention.
Clarke has missed the last fortnight under doctor's orders following concussion, while Danns was not given permission to play in Tuesday night's fourth-round replay win at parent club Leicester.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has emphasised that there is no danger of his team taking the game lightly.
The Latics have plenty to think about right now in terms of the Barclays Premier League, in which they are second-bottom with 12 games to go, three points adrift of safety.
And for the clash with the Terriers, who have been struggling in the npower Championship, Martinez has indicated he is likely to hand another opportunity to some fringe players that have come into the side for previous cup games.
The Spaniard is keen to stress, though, that having reached this stage of the competition for the first time since 1987, Wigan are very much ready to give their all in the match at the John Smith's Stadium.
Continued progression in the cup is something Martinez is eager to see - and believes will only prove beneficial for his team's league form.
"We are not taking the opportunity of being involved in the fifth round of this cup competition lightly, and also we are taking this as a game to help us find our best form in the league," Martinez - yet to oversee a top-flight win in 2013 - said.
"I don't think both competitions should pull against each other.
"It is the opposite - they both should help the team in the same direction.
"The players are desperate to enjoy their challenge, and we would like to include the FA Cup in this vital group of games where we are looking to finish the season on a high."
Martinez has suggested defenders Antolin Alcaraz, Emmerson Boyce and Adrian Lopez and winger Ryo Miyaichi all have a chance of returning to action this weekend.
The boss has also indicated he is likely to hand another opportunity to some fringe players that have come into the team for previous cup games this season.
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