Why United cannot afford to slip up again today
MANCHESTER UNITED, notoriously slow starters in the race for the English title, cannot afford another stumble out of the blocks when they make the short trip to Wigan Athletic today.
For the last two seasons the Red Devils have won only one of their opening four league matches, though they still ended up winning the Premier League.
After crashing to a shock 1-0 defeat at promoted Burnley on Wednesday, manager Alex Ferguson will not want another setback at Wigan today – especially as United have won all eight league matches between the two clubs since their Lancashire rivals were promoted to the Premier League in 2005-06.
Ferguson took a philosophical view of United's first defeat to a newly-promoted side for four years after Robbie Blake's stunning volley gave Burnley victory in their first top-flight match for 33 years at Turf Moor.
“It is a bad blow to us. I know everyone will say we are never good at the start of the season, we usually take our time and by October we start to get going, but nonetheless we shouldn't be losing these games.”
United have been suffering from a spate of injuries, which has ruled out first choice goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar as well as central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. But the defeat to Burnley, who host Everton on Sunday, was a big upset.
Wigan will also be looking to bounce back with an immediate victory after losing 1-0 at home to promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday night.
New coach Roberto Martinez was critical of their performance against Wolves, especially after they made a good start to the season with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa last Saturday.
“We were sloppy, we didn't have energy, we couldn't get hold of the game and Wolves took advantage,” he said. – Reuters