Manchester United keep their eyes on the ball
Ryan Giggs is refusing to get carried away by Manchester United’s seven-point lead at the top of the English Premier League.
United head to Wigan today 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 nothing either of them can do to prevent United securing a record 20th title if Sir Alex Ferguson’s men 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 the Red Devils blew an eight-point lead in the space of four games to lose out to City in the 2011-12 title race, to know nothing can be taken for granted.
“We were these 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. There is also the FA Cup and the Champions League, so there are other things to consider. We are in a great position and are happy where we are, but we know we have to carry on,” he added.
However, Giggs does concur with his manager, who has always felt United would be in contention if they reached New Year’s Day within striking distance of top spot.
This time, Ferguson can spend his 71st birthday peering down on the rest, with many pundits already declaring it is United’s title to lose. Last season, the start of United’s unravelling process can be traced to a trip to Wigan, a side United had beaten every time they had met up to that point.
Inexplicably, Ferguson’s team were caught cold, found themselves unable to cope with Wigan’s three-man defensive formation and slipped to a deserved defeat.
Ferguson is expected to make a number of changes given the draining conditions his players encountered at Old Trafford during Saturday’s win over West Brom.