Belfast Telegraph

Monday 26 January 2015

Latics must now summon cup spirit to survive

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan kisses the trophy following his team's 1-0 victory during the FA Cup with Budweiser Final between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic at Wembley Stadium on May 11, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

When I left the DW Stadium this day last week -- how vain is it to lead 'your' team out at Wembley and name the stadium after yourself? -- I really didn't give Dave Whelan (pictured) and his Wigan side the remotest chance of winning the FA Cup. They'd been shocking against Swansea. Just goes to show what I know ...

Weren't they wonderful? I would go back further than 25 years to relate it to another massive upset (Wimbledon against Liverpool). I'd say it was similar to Sunderland beating Don Revie's Leeds 40 years ago. And Sunderland, like Wigan, could 'play' whereas Wimbledon were plain ugly.

You'll remember Saturday's triumph for most of your life but I fear for Wigan's survival in the Premier league.

They have to win their two remaining games. Can you really see them beating Arsenal at the Emirates tonight? That would be as big a miracle as the one at Wembley.

As for Roberto Mancini, don't believe that City winning the Cup would have saved his job. It was the limpness of the title defence and an abject failure to get out of their Champions League group that did for him ...

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