Uwe Rosler spoke of the ‘strong support’ Latics will need at Wembley against Arsenal in the FA Cup with Budweiser semi-final on Saturday as the national press gathered at Mesnes Park on Wednesday.
Rosler, who has been at the helm at the DW Stadium since mid-December, has overseen a huge upturn in fortunes for his side with the defence of the FA Cup proving an added bonus to an impressive run of form in the Sky Bet Championship in the calendar year.
And the German boss, who master-minded Latics’ 2-1 quarter-final success over Manchester City, says his players could be up against it for long periods and the travelling support will need to get right behind the players.
“The club has been to Wembley quite a lot recently but, in general, for Wigan Athletic to reach a semi-final is special and I’m sure our supporters will realise that it’s a great opportunity to visit the capital and the home of football.
“I think we will need strong support to carry us through difficult periods in the game.
“We’re the massive underdog and we’ll face an opposition who will be on top for the majority of the game so I’m sure the players will appreciate the support throughout the game.”
International television, national newspapers and radio stations gathered to hear the manager’s final press conference before the clash with the Gunners at Mesnes Park, a venue that brought luck to previous boss Roberto Martinez.
And Rosler, who has strongly demanded on focus on the Championship until now, says the interest surrounding Wigan Athletic is healthy and that there is a ‘rising temperature’ in the area as Saturday’s semi-final draws closer.
“We’ve strongly avoided all talk of Arsenal and the FA Cup,” he added. “From this moment onwards you can feel temperatures rising slowly.
“There’s been a lot of media work for me which is unusual compared to our normal league games but I’m enjoying it and it shows me how many people are interested in our football club now we’re back in the semi-finals of the FA Cup back at Wembley.
“Mesnes Park brought Roberto luck last year, so why not do it again - players are now sorting tickets out for their friends and family and they’re now getting in the right mood for a special occasion.”
Talking about the game itself, Rosler says the Gunners’ defeat to Martinez’s Everton last Sunday was untimely for Latics with added pressure now put on Arsene Wenger’s side to return a trophy as a minimum this campaign.
“In many ways Arsenal’s defeat at Everton last Sunday didn’t help us because it puts even more pressure on Arsenal to absolutely go for it and to win a trophy this year with their Champions League place under threat,” Rosler continued.
“We have to make sure we stay in the game as long as possible and give ourselves a chance the longer the game goes on to get through to the final - we have to make ourselves strong opposition for the Arsenal team.”