Monday, 26 December 2011

Martinez Tells Wigan To Wipe Memory of United Maulings



Roberto Martinez is nicking a trick from the film Men In Black in a bid to end Wigan?s mental block when they face Manchester United.

The Latics have lost all 13 games between the two sides, shipping 41 goals in the process and scoring just four.


So Martinez is trying to wipe his players? minds of those miserable memories just as Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones did in the hit movie - where meetings with aliens were neuralyzied by the pair using a magic tool.


The Wigan chief has spent the past few days warning his stars not to mention the Reds in training in a bid to keep their confidence levels up.


He fears all the good work done in holding first Chelsea and Liverpool to draws could unravel as soon his team start thinking about walking out at Old Trafford.


Martinez said: "When you have been in the Premier League for a long time you know how hard it is to play Manchester United - especially with our track record.


"They are the only team we have never taken a point off in our history. So there is a mental block and there is something we have to overcome before we start the game.


"We have to forget we playing Manchester United and not fear them. That would be the best mental approach.


"Manchester United are a unique force in world football. The moment we focus on United it will affect our levels.


"We need to focus on what we did in the last three weeks especially the games when we drew with teams fighting for the title.


"If we can do that, if we can be on the pitch and not thinking about who we are playing, that will be the best approach to the game.


"We have to not think about who we are playing. We have to concentrate on ourselves and what we have done over the past two weeks.


"The moment we think about who we are playing it because a harder task. The results we have had against them have built a mental block."


Wigan head to United having beaten Sunderland and West Brom in their last two away games.


And Martinez has seen enough in past meetings with Alex Ferguson?s side to suggest they can match a Reds team depleted by injuries.


He added: "It is not about systems, it is about what you do with the ball. Last season was the best we have played at Old Trafford. But then we conceded in injury time before half time and goals change games.


"Then we had two sent off and it was a tough afternoon for us when that happened.


"Every time we have played Manchester United we have had periods when we were outstanding there.

"Now what we need to do is try and do it for 95 minutes and that is the challenge. There is no over-complicated approach.

"If we can do what we have done for periods over the whole game we will put up a good challenge.

"But you need to understand that going to Old Trafford is a Titanic task for any team and we have to be perfect.

"But if there is a time to play them, not from their point of view but our point of view, it is now.

"We have momentum from the draws with Liverpool and Chelsea and that has come at the right time to test ourselves at Old Trafford.

"So the less we concentrate on United the better for our performance. Right now we have a fresh view about playing the top teams.

"In the Liverpool game we played against a very good side. They were not poor at all, we played well and then created ten chances. It shows a good balance of performance for us. That is the fresh picture we need to focus on."

Martinez believes finally gaining a point from a game against United will be another important step in Wigan's history.

He said: "Over the past few years we have set ourselves little targets and we have been reaching them.

"First it was getting a win over the so-called top four, then getting better performances at home against them, and going toe-to-toe with them. Now it is a matter going of doing it against United.

"Our position is easy now because we need points. We are still five points below where we should be. We need to go to Old Trafford and get three points."

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