Football - Martinez predicts blast from past

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is preparing for a blast from the past against Macclesfield when the two sides meet at Moss Rose in the FA Cup fourth round.

PA Sport

Martinez, a former Latics player who played for the club during their rise through the lower league ranks, expects a full-blooded clash at the home of the Blue Square Bet Premier side, who were relegated from the Football League last season.

Despite the 82 places separating them in their league positions, the Wigan boss remains wary of the Silkmen after they dumped npower Championship leaders Cardiff out of the FA Cup in the last round with two late goals.

"There is going to be a lot of passion in the Moss Rose ground on Saturday and it is going to be a typical FA Cup tie," Martinez said ahead of the match.

"Divisional status is not an issue in the FA Cup or any cup for that matter and as we've seen against Cardiff City in the last round, Macclesfield use their home ground to their advantage and they were very effective against the leaders of the Championship, which is a phenomenal achievement.

"As we saw ourselves against Bournemouth in the last round, players can raise their game in one off matches like these and they can hit extraordinary physical levels which bring about an extra difficulty when you are trying to prepare.

"We're going to have over 2,000 of our fans filling a third of the ground which makes it even more significant for us and in many ways it is a blast from the past for some of our supporters that have been following the club since our days in the lower divisions.

"We are really looking forward to the game and we want to progress to the fifth round."

Martinez looks likely to stick with most of the players who beat Bournemouth 1-0 in the third round and ended the Cherries' 18-match unbeaten run.

"For our young players it is another chance to show that they are physically ready for the challenge of first-team football and it is a great opportunity in a great competition," Martinez said.

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