Roberto Martinez says Wigan can be proud of their ticket sales for Wembley date
Roberto Martinez has defended Wigan's failure to sell their ticket allocation for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final.
Last Updated: 13/04/13 5:44pm
The Latics have sold around 22,000 for the Wembley clash, prompting the Football Association to make the 10,000 spare tickets available to 'neutral' supporters.
That has led to some sarcastic jibes about Wigan's support but Martinez preferred to focus on the strides they have made since his arrival at the club 18 years ago.
"It's not about the numbers," Martinez said. "The numbers need to have a meaning. Back in 1995, when I arrived at the football club, we had gates of 2,000 people.
"Now we are in the best league in the world, and we are in the semi-final of the best cup competition - for us to take whatever figure it is represents an incredible percentage of the town.
"It's an incredible turnaround of the fans we had 15 years ago, so for us it is a success.
"I know from the outside they will compare numbers, but we don't really care about that. What's important is that every year we increase our fanbase and we increase the feeling of being attached to our football club.
"Going to Wembley with very passionate fans that care for the football club is part of their lives."