Football - Martinez hopes to shock United

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez wants his side to show the same single-minded attitude that propelled them to a shock victory over Manchester United last season when the Premier League leaders visit again on New Year's Day.

PA Sport

The Latics' 1-0 victory over United in April was one of the more surprising results of the season and played a key part in their survival.

It is the only one of the 16 meetings between the sides that United have not won, and normal service was resumed earlier this season when Sir Alex Ferguson's side were 4-0 winners at Old Trafford.

Martinez believes the club's perilous situation made them forget about who they were playing that day at the DW Stadium and, although Saturday's victory over Aston Villa lifted them out of the bottom three, he hopes they can adopt the same approach.

The Spaniard said: "United is one of the hardest games that you're going to have in this league. They've set the pace in this year's competition, they've got seven points difference already to the champions, which is an incredible start.

"In the same way, we are in such a situation where we need points that we can't afford to look at who we're playing against. We're playing at home and we need to make sure we take advantage of that.

"If you're looking at the previous games against Manchester United, the last one (at home) is the clear picture we've got in the back of our minds that if we are perfect and perform in the manner that we can do then we can challenge for three points against Manchester United.

"I think it was the first time we played the game without thinking who we were playing against. We were in such a desperate need of points that we could only focus on ourselves and we did that.

"Obviously looking at the rest of the history, the stats are very bleak because it shows you we're playing one of the best teams in the world.

"But we're excited, we're looking forward to it. The result and performance against Aston Villa has given us a real sense of confidence in ourselves and this is an opportunity to show what we can do."

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