Wigan Athletic news

Martinez: This is an incredible moment

May 11, 2013
By ESPN staff

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hailed an "incredible moment" as his players lifted the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Manchester City at Wembley.

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PA PhotosThe pressure to succeed will intensify on Roberto Martinez at a bigger club

Substitute Ben Watson was the hero as he crashed a header high into the net from a corner in the first minute of injury-time to seal what was a thoroughly deserved triumph for the underdogs.

After an uncertain first five minutes, they played the better football - and Martinez said he felt they should have taken a lead into the break.

"It's an incredible moment. At half-time, we were all really down as we thought we had played really well in the first half," he told ITV. "There was a real feeling of maybe we had wasted our opportunity, but this group of players keep on fighting.

"I was thinking about extra-time and how to use the extra man advantage [after the sending off of defender Pablo Zabaleta for a second bookable offence].

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"It was incredible seeing the goal going in. When you are a football club, you dream of playing at Wembley, and today we saw the underdogs play with incredible bravery, incredible belief and they defied the odds again. That's the FA Cup."

Man of the match Callum McManaman was a constant thorn in City's side with his fearless running down the right - and his manager saluted him as "a diamond".

"Actions speak louder than words. His display was outstanding," he said. "I think he's a real diamond of English football."

He urged his players to take their performance into their Premier League survival fight - they face games away to Arsenal and at home to Aston Villa - saying: "We are going to get an incredible fight, incredible desire, to get the six points we've got left.

"But today is about today, today is about the FA Cup, today is about the victory and the trophy that we've won for Wigan Athletic. What an incredible story."

Watson, who has only just returned to action after five months on the sidelines with a broken leg, said the Wigan players had been "fantastic from the first minute to the 95th".

"It's been a dream - coming on in an FA Cup final and scoring the winner," he said. "We've got two massive games now to stay in the league, and if we perform like that we'll be alright. We crack on again tomorrow."

Latics midfielder James McCarthy said Martinez was a "tactical genius" and told ESPN: "It's an unbelievable achievement. I'm speechless, to be honest.

"It's a dream come true - it's what you dream of as a kid. I think the gaffer is a tactical genius. It's down to his tactics what we've done."

City defender Vincent Kompany said Wigan had merited their victory and added: "There is no need to look for excuses. Wigan deserved to win it. Congratulations to them.

"We have to come back. We'll have plenty of occasions to win it again."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report