Fear of losing will drive Manchester United to title, says Sir Alex Ferguson
The reigning champions can close the gap on leaders Chelsea to two points by defeating Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford tonight. By his own admission, Manchester United have yet to find their consistency this term, with Burnley, Liverpool, Chelsea, Aston Villa and Fulham all beating Ferguson's team in the opening half of the campaign. Top 100 football moments of 2008/09: 25-1Manchester United v Barcelona: Sir Alex Ferguson sets sights on Real Madrids recordBut with United traditionally stronger in the second half of the season, manager Ferguson, who celebrates his 68th birthday on New Year's Eve, believes that United's rivals will be fearful of their pedigree when the pressure begins to mount in the title run-in. Ferguson said: 'It's a tough league, you can see that. There's nobody having a consistent run and it's maybe one of those seasons. 'History tells you that two teams always break away at the end. That's what normally happens, but it's not looking like that at the moment. 'It's always hard to win the league, and teams have improved in the Premier League this season, but it's still a hard league no matter what season you do it. 'We've got the experience to do it, though, and the players to do it. 'I think we're better placed than most teams in that respect and they'll know that. 'They will have to look at Manchester United, there's no getting away from that.' United have won all 10 of their previous meetings with Wigan, including a 5-0 victory at the DW Stadium earlier this season. But with United aiming to overhaul Chelsea in the new year, Ferguson insists they cannot allow past performances against Wigan to lead to complacency tonight. Ferguson said: "I know we have a good record against Wigan, but we have to respect the victories they have had against Aston Villa and Chelsea this season. 'They play football and that is the way Roberto Martinez wants them to play. He has a good philosophy, so it should be an entertaining match. 'But we're coming to that time of the season when the challenge is there. We've got a league that is so tight now. "Teams are taking points off each other that you don't expect and it is tightening up the whole league. 'It means a consistent run from any team will give them a great chance. 'At the start of the season, I saw Chelsea as the biggest danger and I haven't changed my mind out about that. They too have great experience in their squad. "Obviously our experience of run-ins is good, we can handle that part, but the important thing is to win this game which will put us in the position I hoped we would get to - just a couple of points behind the leaders going into the New Year.' United captain Gary Neville is in contention to return to the team after a three-week groin injury lay-off, while Paul Scholes is also fit after missing the weekend win at Hull with a hip injury.
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