Ben Watson hopes Wigan Athletic can avoid the contrasting emotions they experienced 12 months ago by allying this year's FA Cup run with success in the league.

The central midfielder scored the most memorable goal in Latics' history by heading in a late winner against Manchester City at Wembley last May. However, just three days later, a heavy 4-1 reverse to Arsenal saw the new FA Cup holders lose their Barclays Premier League status.

Wigan return to Wembley to face Arsenal in the semi-final this Saturday as their unlikely story continues apace. They also sit in the Sky Bet Championship play-off spots and Watson does not want success in one competition to come at the detriment of another.

"It's been completely different because this year we're fighting for promotion and last year we were fighting relegation," he said.

"We had the highs and lows of football in three days last year - winning the cup and getting relegated. This year hopefully we can get through Saturday and cement a place in the play-offs and it can be the complete opposite."

Watson will not be able to replicate his cup final heroics after breaking his leg earlier this season against Barnsley, but he played a part in getting Wigan there by scoring in previous wins over Crystal Palace and Cardiff.

Their achievements this year in eliminating three Barclays Premier League teams have arguably usurped what Roberto Martinez's men managed in winning the competition last season.

The man who delivered the FA Cup to the DW Stadium has been impressed by their attitude in refusing to relinquish their status as holders, which was evident in the quarter-finals when they stunned Manchester City with a 2-1 triumph at the Etihad Stadium.

"It's been a test again, every game has been different," Watson added.

"But it would have been easy for us going into the third round against MK Dons and - with the Europa League, we had so many games - to say 'we'll put out a weakened team and let's get out of this competition'.

"But at the start of the season we said 'we've won it but let's make sure we give a good account of ourselves this season in it. Let's get as far as we can again'.

"All of a sudden you're through the third round, fourth round and next thing you know you get City in the quarters, which is probably the draw you don't want. B ut we get that, we win that and it's another trip to Wembley and Arsenal in the semis."