Evans won’t take Wigan lightly

On the face of it, United’s Christmas visitors should present few
problems at Old Trafford. Latics are currently in the relegation
zone, have never even managed a draw in 13 previous meetings, and
the aggregate score from their last four encounters is 16-0. Yet
Roberto Martinez’s men have lost just once in their last six games,
including home draws with Chelsea and Liverpool, and they will make
the short trip down the M6 free from any expectations. And Evans is
sure Wigan will arrive in Manchester ready to scrap for every ball.
“I was involved in a bit of a relegation battle at Sunderland,”
said Evans, who spent two half-seasons on Wearside in 2007 and
2008. “Against the big teams we actually tended to play a bit
better. “You relax a bit because the pressure’s off and lift
yourself. You are not expected to pick up points and obviously,
that can help you. “I know at the minute Wigan are near the bottom
of the league but they have had some decent results in the last few
weeks. “They’ve drawn against both Liverpool and Chelsea and it is
going to be tough.” Evans has also noted a change in philosophy
among teams visiting Old Trafford, with a greater determination to
go on the attack very much in evidence. “When I used to watch as a
fan I remember always thinking the away team never really tried to
score,” he said. “They’d just sit back and play one up front.
“There has been a bit of a shift in that philosophy over the last
few years. Teams are coming to Old Trafford and thinking they may
as well go for it.” United have already started their festive
programme well, smashing five goals past Fulham on Wednesday
following a convincing win at QPR the previous weekend. However,
with Manchester City on top form too, that form must be maintained,
which could be bad news for both Wigan and rock-bottom Blackburn,
who visit Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve. And while Evans refuses
to complain about the sacrifices that professional footballers make
at this time of year, he admits relief at not having to embark on a
lengthy Christmas Day journey this season. “It’s a period we
enjoy,” he said. “You’d think we get annoyed because we don’t get
to spend Christmas with our family, but it’s quite a nice feeling
coming into training on Christmas morning. “It’s only a short and
sharp session and the Boxing Day game is always a big one for the
fans. “And the fact we have two home games this season is an
advantage as well. “I can remember in the past spending Christmas
night travelling up to Sunderland, for instance. “It’s good to be
at home and we don’t have to leave the house until a bit later.”