Belfast Telegraph

Whelan: Latics will not be relegated

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has insisted the Latics will not scar the memory of their momentous win over Manchester United by dropping out of the Barclays Premier League.

Amid the euphoria of Wednesday night's 1-0 victory at the DW Stadium, manager Roberto Martinez cautioned his players about believing their main job had been done.

But Whelan said: "We will not get relegated and we will not be going back in the bottom three. The spirit in our camp is unbelievably high. Prior to this, we had beaten everyone in the Premier League except Manchester United. What a night to do it on."

Wigan might have clambered out of the relegation zone for the first time since October, but they will be back in it again if neighbours Bolton win their match in hand at Aston Villa.

In addition, the remaining games of their run-in look hazardous, with a trip to Arsenal looming on Monday and a home encounter with Newcastle also to be faced before the final two games against fellow relegation scrappers Blackburn and Wolves.

Even for Whelan there was an air of resignation about the build-up to the Manchester United game. "If I am being very honest, I thought no, we can't beat them," he said.

After all, in 14 previous attempts, the club had not managed so much as a draw against their north-west neighbours, who were top of the league and on an eight-match winning streak themselves.

Whelan added: "But the whole country is now rejoicing because if you are not a Manchester United supporter, you want them to get beaten. For Wigan to beat Manchester United is something very rare and very special."

There was additional poignancy for Whelan because he never came out on top against the Red Devils during his playing career, which included four years at Blackburn.

"I had never beaten Manchester United," he said. "I played against them half a dozen times and, clearly, it is not easy to win against them. Sometimes we have played well and still come away with nothing."


From Belfast Telegraph