‘Real excitement’: Wigan Athletic’s Gary Caldwell urges side to win their first ever FA Cup final for fans

By Aimee Howarth

Only victory is good enough for Wigan Athletic and their fans in their first ever FA Cup final, insists club captain Gary Caldwell as they prepare to face Manchester City.

The Latics have already rewritten their history books by knocking out Bournemouth, Macclesfield Town, Huddersfield Town, Everton and Millwall to reach the competition’s final stage at Wembley Stadium.

And as they take on five-time winners City, skipper Caldwell said his teammates want to crown their record-setting run with a result to reward their loyal supporters.

“For it to be the first FA Cup final for this club and to be able to make history is huge and every player will be 100% focussed on winning,” the 31-year-old told the club website.

“All of the players want the fans to go to the final and enjoy themselves.

“We’ll be doing everything within our powers to win this cup for them. It’s all well and good being in the final but we want to win it to make everybody proud.

“There’s been a real excitement towards Saturday for weeks from the fans and they deserve their moment in the spotlight.”

Prior to this year, the furthest Wigan had gone in the cup was a run to the quarter-finals in 1987 where they lost 2-0 to Leeds United.

And although the club has recently been concentrating on Premier League survival, Caldwell admitted the prestige and excitement of the trophy is now catching up with him.

“We haven’t thought about the final since the semi-final and people will sometimes question that because of the magnitude of the competition,” he said.

“We’ve had and still have a lot to deal with and we’ve been completely focussed on the league.

“The gaffer spoke to us about what went wrong [against Swansea] and then moved on to speaking about the FA Cup.

“As soon as he started to speak about it the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I started to realise that this is a massive, massive football game.”

But with the club still three points from top-flight safety with two games remaining, Caldwell insisted the final will not distraction in the final weeks of their league campaign.

“We will come back to work on Sunday knowing what needs to be done in the Premier League and we’ll be addressing that with all of our commitment and effort,” he said.

“We’ve got the biggest week in the history of this football club coming up and we’re aiming to win all three games to make it a season the players and supporters will never ever forget.”

Image courtesy of ScotlandNationalTeam, via YouTube, with thanks.

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