Sport

Roberto Martinez dedicates Everton FA Cup mauling to chairman Dave Whelan as Wigan book Wembley spot

By Aimee Howarth

Roberto Martinez dedicated Wigan Athletic’s FA Cup victory to club chairman Dave Whelan as three goals in three minutes away at Everton secured their place in their first ever FA Cup semi-final.

Maynor Figueroa headed home on the half hour mark before Callum McManaman fired past Toffee’s keeper Jan Mucha and Jordi Gomez added the third from the edge of the area.

And as the club progresses to the last-four for the first time, Martinez said the trip to Wembley is a reward for devoted Whelan, whose career was ended with a broken leg in the 1960 Cup Final.

“For us as a football club to go to Wembley is a unique moment, a historic moment, and the chairman deserves that,” Martinez told ITV Sport.

“You could sense in the dressing-room that everyone wanted to see our chairman at Wembley and in many ways this success goes for what he has done over the years.”

Whelan has lifted the Latics from Division Three since taking over in 1995 and Martinez hailed his players as victory against David Moyes’ favourites continues to write the side into history.

“I thought the performance was outstanding, from the keeper all the way through,” he said.

“To come to Goodison Park, to be able to score three goals and keep a clean sheet speaks volumes.

“We stopped them from being dangerous. You can see that they are a team that’s got real understanding, real experience and the expectation was in the crowd.

“I thought we looked a real threat every time we got into the final third. We deserve the credit for stopping Everton having that flowing football that they’ve got.”

And with a Premier League relegation battle also on their hands, Martinez insisted success in the FA Cup will not distract his players from their fight to stay in the top-flight.

“I guarantee you this run in the Cup will not affect what we can do in the league. If anything, you’ve got players that are desperate to play in the league as well,” he said.

“In this league you rely on yourself, you cannot rely on anyone else and there are ten massive finals left.”

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks

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