Callum McManaman had a miserable Saturday night after being informed by his manager Roberto Martínez that he would not be trusted with a key role in Wigan's bid to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for only the second time in their history. Fortunately for the 20-year-old, a very distant relation of the former Liverpool and England winger Steve, the manager was not being entirely honest.
"He's a real street footballer and he gets so hyped up – when he's played in the previous rounds he hasn't been able to last 90 minutes," the Spaniard explained. "I could see yesterday [on Saturday] he was starting to show a bit of anxiety, so we told him he wasn't playing so he could have a good night's sleep. He was a bit angry but when he found out he was playing this morning he was delighted."
His white lie worked to perfection, as McManaman scored the first goal and made the second in a comfortable victory that underlined the progress that Wigan have made in their Premier League years. "It's great because as a young man he has learned," said Martínez. "There can be problems if you get too hyped up. He is such a talented young man, a typical winger who loves the one-on-one, and the sort you would pay money to watch."
His emergence also adds to the depth which has allowed Martínez to relish the FA Cup this season as an uplifting rather than damaging distraction from Wigan's annual survival battle. "What's important for a football club is that you are capable of going for two competitions," he added, having made six changes to the team beaten at Chelsea last weekend. "Two, three or four years ago, we would never have had the pool of quality players to have the opportunity to do this."
Now they can look forward to a quarter-final trip to either Oldham or more likely Everton. "Oldham have been magnificent and it's still an open game, so we will follow the replay with interest," Martínez said.
James McArthur, who had unlocked Huddersfield's defence with a delightful pass to set up McManaman's opener in the 31st minute, drove in a glorious third 10 minutes into the second half to kill off any outside chance of a fightback by the Championship team, who were strangely timid in their first game under Mark Robins.
They did improve sufficiently to earn a consolation goal from the substitute Lee Novak, whose introduction from the bench with James Vaughan to share the workload previously shouldered by Alan Lee as a lone target man sparked their attack. But Arouna Koné, who had flicked in Wigan's second after McManaman's driven low cross – replays later showing that he did so from an offside position – then pounced on a defensive error to add a clinical fourth.
"We spent most of our day chasing their players, because they were excellent with the movement they produce," said Robins, the former Manchester United striker who has been tempted to return north from Coventry City by Huddersfield's ambitious management.
"We were the architects of our own downfall at times because our problem-solving wasn't quick enough. But we won't be facing opponents of Premier League quality every week in the Championship."
With Huddersfield locked in a survival battle of their own, night's game at Nottingham Forest – where Robins made his significant contribution to FA Cup history by scoring the goal widely thought to have kept Alex Ferguson in his job – probably holds greater significance for the Terriers than this.
Man of the match: Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic)