Man United loss at Wigan a minor hiccup, insists Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United's defeat by Wigan Athletic on Wednesday needs to be put into perspective
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United’s shock defeat by Wigan Athletic was only a minor blip and insists the Red Devils are still “delighted” to be five points clear at the Premier League’s summit with five games remaining.
Shaun Maloney’s second-half winner at the DW Stadium on Wednesday night inflicted United’s first defeat in 13 games – a run which had seen the defending champions overhaul Manchester City and move into first place.
The 70-year-old, who is aiming to win his 13th league title, is adamant United have suffered similar setbacks in previous seasons and still managed to finish in top spot.
“We have to put it in a bit of perspective,” said Ferguson. “You drop points in the second half of the season. We have done it most years.
“There has been an odd year when we have gone on a long run without losing – the Treble year – and another one where Ruud [van Nistelrooy] scored something like nine games in a row.
“A couple of years back, we lost 4-1 to Liverpool and won the league by nine points. You do drop points on the run-in. [Manchester] City and ourselves have both experienced that. From the position we were in a few months ago, to where we are today, we have to be delighted.
“The great part of our club is that we do recover, and we have to recover from Wednesday.
“How Wigan are at the bottom of that league, I don’t understand. They play as good a football as anyone in the league. They dominated us in the first half and deserved to win.”
Aston Villa make the trip to Old Trafford on Sunday and Ferguson is expecting a difficult test from Alex McLeish’s side, who are looking to move clear of the relegation zone.
“I think Villa are probably safe but you never know,” added Ferguson. “They are six points clear with five games left, so they can’t be dead sure. As they were against Liverpool and Stoke, they will be very determined.
“After Sunday – hopefully we win – we have four games left. Eventually, you whittle them all away and you are left with none. Hopefully, we will achieve what we want to achieve.”