Scharner: Wigan prioritising Premier League survival, not cup glory

The Latics will face Millwall in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, but the Austrian insists progression is not the club's biggest aim this season

Wigan utility man Paul Scharner is adamant that Premier League survival is the club's biggest priority ahead of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final clash with Millwall.

The Latics earned a place in the last four by hammering Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park last month but remain in the bottom three of the top flight by virtue of goal difference.

But Scharner insists the club's cup run will not provide a distraction because his team-mates do not view it as more important than staying up.

The Austrian 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.

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"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.

"The cup was in my mind when I signed the contract on January 31 because Wigan were already in the quarter-finals, so I did think about it because I never played at Wembley.

"The FA Cup is one of the biggest occasions in world football so everybody knows Wembley. It will be a very nice experience for me."

Scharner's team-mate Emmerson Boyce also claimed that Roberto Martinez's side will take nothing for granted even against Championship opposition.

"We're not going to underestimate Millwall," he added. "They'll go into the semi-final thinking they've got a great chance of beating us so we've got to go there and put in a professional performance and it's going to be a hard game no matter what.

"It's up to us to take the game to them and get the result that we need. For the first time probably all the pressure's on Wigan."