Roberto Martinez is delighted that this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Macclesfield Town has caught the imagination of Latics fans who will travel to Moss Rose in force for the game on Saturday, one that the gaffer is sure will test his squad.
He said: “It’s a real flash from the past and a fixture that has excited both sets of fans who will provide a great atmosphere in a tight, compact ground.
“We know very well that cup competitions don’t care about divisional status; Macclesfield use their home ground to their advantage really well as we saw against Cardiff City in the last round.
“As we saw against Bournemouth in a one-off game the opposition can really raise their standards to hit incredibly high physical levels.
“Steve King’s side are very dynamic and can cause problems for any team with real threat going forwards and organisation at the back; I feel they’re going to be very successful this season.
“So it’s going to be difficult but we’re looking forward to it and want to progress to the fifth round by being as good as we can be with over 2,000 of our fans behind us on the day.”
Martinez will have plenty of options to choose from this weekend and gave the latest on his squad’s fitness with three games to play in the space of seven days, saying:
“Despite the recent weather we’ve been working really well and haven’t been too heavily affected, which is very pleasing.
“Ivan Ramis had his operation on Tuesday night which turned out to be a real success; surgery lasted over two hours and finished around 11.00pm and we can now start counting down the days until he returns.
“Mike Pollitt has also had surgery on his thigh injury which went well so that’s more positive news and he’s also moving in the right direction.
“Everyone else is fit, ready and looking forward to the fourth round of the FA Cup; a phenomenal competition and near enough a local derby for us against Macclesfield Town.
“The players who have been performing well in these competitions deserve another chance on the pitch to show what they can do in helping the first team.
“As well as that this is a very important week coming up with Premier League fixtures against Stoke City and Southampton to play on Tuesday and next Saturday.”
“Every member of the squad needs to be ready for whatever comes their way, show good focus and face both competitions with equally high standards.”
To see what else Roberto had to say on this weekend's tie and his memories of playing at Moss Rose [click here].