Man City 'need' to win the FA Cup, says Wigan's Paul Scharner

FA Cup final: Manchester City v Wigan

  • Venue: Wembley
  • Date: Saturday 11 May
  • Kick-off: 17:15 BST

Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website, live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Radio Manchester

Wigan defender Paul Scharner believes Manchester City's desperation to win a trophy could work against them at the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Roberto Mancini's City saw neighbours United take their Premier League crown.

But they are strong favourites to beat the Latics, who are appearing in the final for the first time, at Wembley.

"Manchester City need to win because it's their only chance to get some silverware," the 33-year-old Austrian told BBC Radio Manchester.

Wigan are currently battling for top-flight survival - they are three points from safety with two fixtures remaining - but produced one of their best performances of late in a 1-0 Premier League defeat at the Etihad Stadium on 17 April.

Paul Scharner: The Wigan years

Paul Scharner

January 2006: Signs from Norwegian side Brann Bergen for around £2m and scores on debut against Arsenal in League Cup semi-final

February 2006: Plays in League Cup final defeat by Manchester United in Cardiff

May 2007: Scores in final-day win at Sheffield United that guarantees Premier League survival

March 2009: Becomes first player to reach 100 Premier League appearances for Wigan

May 2010: Leaves Wigan to join promoted West Bromwich Albion on two-year contract

January 2013: Returns to the DW Stadium on loan from German club Hamburg

April 2013: Plays in 2-0 victory over Millwall at Wembley as Wigan reach the FA Cup final for the first time in the club's history

"After the last game against Manchester City, we can be very confident of getting something out of the game," added Scharner, who rejoined Wigan on loan from German side Hamburg in January.

"The final is a one-off game and it's a completely different pressure. The main thing is to be confident and to get rid of the respect. The main enemy for a footballer when you play a game is to have too much respect for your opponents, just because they are Manchester City and they have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on players in the last few years."

Scharner and veteran goalkeeper Mike Pollitt are the only two survivors from the squad that lost to Manchester United in the 2006 League Cup final in Cardiff - Wigan's only previous appearance in a major final.

Former West Brom defender Scharner was so disappointed by that defeat that he threw his runners-up medal into the Latics crowd at the end of the game.

After confirming that he expects to return to the Bundesliga at the end of the season, the defender is hopeful of ending his second spell at the DW Stadium by claiming an FA Cup winner's medal.

"I was so angry that we lost, but to be honest, Manchester United were on a high," said Scharner. "Cristiano Ronaldo was on a very good spell and it would have been very difficult to get something from that game.

"I got a response from the fan who caught the medal a couple of months later and it was really nice to read the card. I think he's happier with the medal than me!

Paul Scharner

I don't have scandals and I don't fight in bars, so I decided the simplest way to get some attention was coloured hair

Paul Scharner

"I won the cup in Austria [with Austria Vienna] and in Norway [with Brann Bergen]. England is my third country and it would be a perfect thing to win it in England as well."

Scharner, who was the first player to reach a century of Premier League appearances for Wigan, has developed a cult following among Latics supporters.

A lover of billiards and classical music, he has created as many headlines about his ever-changing hairstyles and his wacky dress sense as his accomplishments on the pitch.

He said: "Football is not just about the football on the pitch. In football, especially as a player, there is more interest in you from the media and the public.

"I don't have scandals and I don't fight in bars, so I decided the simplest way to get some attention was coloured hair. The first time I did it was when I was 22, and since then I've had about 12 different haircuts and colours.

"It's something people can talk about and smile about. Football is entertaining and people pay a lot of money to see us playing on the pitch, so you have to give something back."

Ian Cheeseman's "In The Spotlight" interview with Paul Scharner is available online until Saturday, 11 May.