CAPTAIN Vincent Kompany insists the FA Cup has lost none of its magic for Manchester City.
Two years ago, success in the competition heralded City's arrival among the elite of the English game.
Their Wembley victory over Stoke ended a 35-year trophy drought and they followed up by winning the Barclays Premier League in dramatic fashion last year.
The mood has changed this season as a result of failure to defend the title and disappointment in the Champions League, and consequently the FA Cup has had the feel of a consolation prize.
Kompany disputes that and, as City prepare to face Wigan at the national stadium, he is determined to made the most of the occasion.
The Belgium defender said: "Every single time it is something very special.
"You shouldn't take these kind of games for granted, they don't always keep coming.
"It is unbelievable for us to do it again, and for the fans it is unbelievable as well.
"We have to be respectful of every trophy we can get. If we win this one it will be massive for the club and something to cherish.
"If you win a trophy you should celebrate it, you consider it as a great achievement."
City began the season as favourites for the Premier League and confident of making an impact in Europe.
But their title hopes were comprehensively dashed by Manchester United and they finished bottom of their Champions League group.
Despite that, they look secure in second place in the table - last season aside, a position not attained since 1977 - and winning silverware would still constitute success.
Kompany said: "You can always do better and we have got next season to do that.
"You have to be respectful of what the FA Cup represents.
"If you win trophies it is something that will be remembered forever."
City are firm favourites with Wigan's progress to the final having been overshadowed by their struggle to avoid relegation.
Latics suffered a damaging defeat to Swansea in midweek and remain adrift of safety but, as they continue to earn plaudits for their style, Kompany remains wary of Roberto Martinez's men.
The 27-year-old said: "They are one of the more difficult sides we have played this season.
"You can see it's a team that doesn't fear keeping possession.
"When it's going well for them they are a very difficult team to play against. We have to be careful.
"When they played at Etihad, they were really good and caused us a lot of trouble.
"But we managed it really well in the end. We didn't concede and we won the game.
"I think they are a good team and if people think they will be easy then it is a mistake."
While Wigan toiled against Swansea on Tuesday, City were able to rest several players in their fixture against West Brom.
Manager Roberto Mancini made eight changes with Kompany among the key players left out.
Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy were also given the night off while Sergio Aguero and David Silva did not get off the bench.
There was some concern about Toure, with the influential midfielder having also been withdrawn at half-time of last week's game at Swansea through fatigue, but he has declared himself fit.
The 29-year-old, who scored the winner against Stoke in 2011, said: "I am good. Sometimes it is difficult to play all the games at the same level and sometimes you can get an injury.
"But we have worked on that, trying to keep injury far away and try to concentrate on delivering at the weekend.
"I am already fit. I started training three days ago and I am well in now.
"I want to deliver a good game and help the team to achieve something important."
Winger Scott Sinclair is out of contention after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in shoulder but otherwise City have no major injury concerns.
Back-up goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon is expected to be selected ahead of England number one Joe Hart having played in all the previous rounds.
Midfielder James Milner believes cup success can be the springboard for more glory next season.
Milner, speaking at the club's pre-match media day, said: "We are bitterly disappointed how the league went this year.
"The main thing is that we win a piece of silverware at the weekend, do that and take the momentum of winning a trophy into next season and have a good league campaign.
"It's tough to get to any final. There's one game standing between you and a piece of silverware and it's an awesome feeling to win it."