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FA CUP REWIND WITH JOE PARKINSON

Parkinson in action during his Springfield Park days.

PUBLISHED

14:45 25th January 2013

by Nick Taylor

Academy coach talks to Nick Taylor about his underdog appearance with Latics in the 1991 FA Cup.

In the 1990/91 season Latics strolled past Fourth Division sides Carlisle United and Hartlepool United as they set themselves up with a third round FA Cup clash with top flight Coventry City.

Latics travelled to Highfield Road only to come away with a 1-1 draw before being eliminated from the competition as the Sky Blues won the replay 1-0 at Springfield Park.

Joe Parkinson played in both games that season and said that despite being knocked out, the divide in league status wasn’t an issue for him and his team mates.

“As a team playing in Division Three the FA Cup meant so much to us and the motivation to play against a team in the top division was just an automatic feeling.

“The FA Cup was a highlight of every season because of the nature of the competition and to be playing Coventry at Highfield Road in the third round was the biggest game of the season.

“We weren’t doing so well in the league but we had confidence within us and it was a dream tie so there was no other way we were going to approach it.

“For me it was even more special because I was a local lad getting the chance to play for the Wigan Athletic first team in such a prestigious cup is something you always aim to do when you’re with a club.”

Parkinson, who won the FA Cup with Everton in 1995 believes that Latics' impressive performance in the initial draw against Coventry was a characteristic of the nature of the Club.

“When I was coming through as an apprentice Latics beat Norwich City in the fourth round of the FA Cup and Norwich finished fifth in the first division that season so we drew inspiration from that and I think the spirit of the club showed that anything can happen in the FA Cup.

“When you’ve got memories like that and then your own personal desire and hunger for the FA Cup then it’s easy to motivate yourself.”

With Latics travelling to Macclesfield Town tomorrow Parkinson knows just how the Silkmen will be feeling but believes Roberto Martinez’s men will be well aware of their opposition’s threat.

“The first team have already worked hard to get through and they’ll have that desire to impress and represent the club in such a big competition, so they won’t be taking Macclesfield lightly.

“That’s the fire that players have when they play in the FA Cup and the Macclesfield side will have that too because we’ll be the big scalp they are looking for, much like our attitude when we played Coventry back in 1991.”

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