Belfast Telegraph

Giggs stays grounded after last season's points giveaway

By Simon Stone

Ryan Giggs is refusing to get carried away by Manchester United's seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League. United head to Wigan having taken 37 points from a possible 42 since they were beaten by Tottenham at Old Trafford at the end of September.

Manchester City and Chelsea performed well over the weekend but there is little either of them can do to prevent United securing a record 20th title if Sir Alex Ferguson's team maintain their present form.

But Giggs, a veteran of all 12 Premier League championship triumphs, acknowledges it is far too early to start thinking the job is done. The Welshman only needs to look back a matter of months, when United blew an eight-point lead in the space of four games to lose out to City in the title race, to know nothing can be taken for granted. "We were this many points ahead with fewer games to go last season and it wasn't enough," said Giggs. "We are only halfway there and there are a lot of tough games to come. We are in a great position and are happy where we are, but we know we have to carry on."

Wigan yesterday reported a net profit of £4.3 million for the year ending 31 May. It is the first time in six years that the club have turned in a profit, with the sum considerably different to the £7.2m net loss they reported 12 months ago. The figures cover the 2011-12 season in which the Latics finished in 15th place, with turnover up from £50.5m to £52.6m.

Wigan said on their official website that while salaries remain their biggest expense, they had trimmed them from £39.9m to £37.7m, with £10.4m spent on new players. The sale of Charles N'Zogbia to Aston Villa meant a £7.9m profit on player sales.

Kick-off 3pm Referee A Marriner (West Midlands) TV Highlights, 10.25pm, BBC 1.

Odds: Wigan 5-1 Draw 16-5 Manchester United 8-15

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