Football - Scharner: Semi-final match won't hinder fight for survival

Paul Scharner believes the "island" of the FA Cup semi-final can help Wigan in their battle against relegation from the Premier League.

PA Sport
Football - Scharner: Semi-final match won't hinder fight for survival
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Paul Scharner (Imago)

The Latics have taken seven points from their three league games since beating Everton in the quarter-finals but remain in the bottom three ahead of Saturday's trip to Wembley to face Millwall.

Chairman Dave Whelan said this week survival must take precedence over reaching the final, and Scharner agrees, but he does not think the latter will compromise the chances of the former.

The 33-year-old said: "Of course (survival is the priority) because it's the future for Wigan and it brings the money to run the business.

"But I don't see a problem to be in the semis and fight against relegation because it's a little island outside of the relegation fight to enjoy another football match.

"I think every single player should enjoy their time there because it's not very often you're playing at Wembley with Wigan in an FA Cup semi-final.

"It's a different pressure. We have the relegation pressure, which is very hard to handle to be honest because you have to get the points to stay up and secure the future. This is different because it's one match.

"Wigan has a lot of experience now in the relegation fight. It does bring also pressure on you because everybody's expecting Wigan to survive again. What we need to focus on in the last seven games is get nine points, that's it."

Fans' favourite Scharner spent four-and-a-half years with Wigan before leaving for West Brom in 2010 and then Hamburg, but returned to the DW Stadium in January on loan until the end of the season.

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