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Tuesday, March 5, 2013
ESPNsoccernet: March 6, 8:49 PM UK
Scharner calls for defensive improvement

Mike Whalley

Paul Scharner has warned Wigan that they must tighten up their defence if they are to stand a chance of making FA Cup history.

Scharner, 32, who signed on loan from Hamburg in January for a second spell at the DW Stadium, acknowledged that the Latics fell well short of the standards required as they were beaten 4-0 at home by Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

That defeat was a major setback for Wigan, who looked set to pull clear of trouble after a 3-0 win at relegation rivals Reading the previous weekend. Instead, they remain fourth from bottom, outside the bottom three only on goal difference.

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But the Austria international, who first played for the club between 2006 and 2010, is hopeful that Roberto Martinez's side can bounce back to beat Everton in the FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday and make the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

"Conceding three goals in 25 minutes just isn't good enough and when you do that you're always going to have a battle against a team like Liverpool," he told the club's official website. "I think the game was one of those rare events in a season when nothing goes your way.

"We can't use that as an excuse though and we'll be making sure that in our next game we turn things around from this weekend. We must just get past this game and start up again against Everton in the FA Cup next weekend."

The trip to Everton will only be Wigan's second FA Cup quarter-final appearance. They reached the last eight in 1987 as a third-tier side, losing 2-0 at home to Leeds.

Cup commitments mean that the Latics will not play in the league again until March 17, when they host Newcastle, and Scharner welcomes the distraction.

He added: "It's a good situation to have to break up the league fixtures with what could be a very significant moment in the history of the club.

"If we can play a good game at Goodison Park and get a victory there then we will be able to pick up our confidence again and bring it back to the league games. It's vital that we prepare the best we can, not just for the Everton game but for every game from now until the end of the season."

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