Martinez undaunted by Old Trafford trip

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The Independent Online

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez takes his side to Old Trafford to face Manchester United tonight hoping to upset the odds.

In their five-year Premier League history the Latics have recorded only one victory against a top-four side, and that came at home to Chelsea this season.

Their record at Old Trafford makes unhappy reading, with four successive defeats, 12 goals against and only one scored.

They were beaten 5-0 at home back in August, when Sir Alex Ferguson's side scored all their goals in the last 34 minutes.

However, Martinez believes his side have the capabilities to pull off a shock.

"Playing Manchester United at Old Trafford is always a glamorous fixture and a special game," he said. "We will be ready for it. We have improved a lot since meeting them earlier in the season.

"We were very pleased with the first 60-65 minutes but our fitness levels were not good enough and we did not have a settled team. In that respect we are a stronger side now.

"Man Utd are the champions, one of the best teams in the world and we know it is going to be a tough game, but we are looking forward to the challenge.

"It is a game everyone expects Man Utd to win but we will play a role and try to upset the odds."

Martinez felt he noticed a change in his side in their second-half performance against Blackburn on Boxing Day, when they came from 1-0 down to earn a draw.

"I see that second half as the turning point of the season," said the Spaniard. "There is great character in the dressing room and that is a pleasing aspect.

"That is probably the first time this season we have shown that. Many times this season we have faced disappointment in the game (and) we folded, we couldn't find solutions.

"Against Blackburn was the first time as a squad of players we showed the right responsibility and maturity to put things right and that is why it is a turning point.

"That is the character that allows you to win a lot of points in a season."

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