Home » Wigan Athletic boss Shaun Maloney admits Man United were his “second team” ahead of FA Cup clash

Wigan Athletic boss Shaun Maloney admits Man United were his “second team” ahead of FA Cup clash

by Derick Kinoti

Wigan Athletic boss Shaun Maloney has admitted that Manchester United were his second team growing up and he frequently travelled to watch them in action.

The two sides are set to meet on Monday at 20:15 BST.

For United, the fixture is important as the FA Cup represents the club’s only realistic option of winning silverware this season after elimination from the Carabao Cup and the Champions League.

Ahead of the clash, Maloney reflected on Wigan’s last victory against the Red Devils, during the 2011/12 season.

In fact, it was Maloney who scored the winning goal  – a curling effort into the top corner of David de Gea’s goal.

It was Wigan’s only victory against United in 19 tries. United had won all the previous 18 attempts.

The loss all but ensured Sir Alex Ferguson’s men lost the Premier League title that term to Premier League rivals Manchester City.

Maloney said about that game, “That was also a big moment for our club at that time, we needed the win ourselves. The brilliant thing about the environment and the style of play Roberto (Martinez) created, was the feeling we could match and beat anybody at our best.”

“That first half against Manchester United was probably, in my opinion, the best performance I’ve felt part of within a team, playing against one of the elite. Roberto created that feeling, and when we got it right, we felt we could beat any team. Particularly on that night, we produced an incredible performance that will live long in the memory.”

“I’m really, really happy with the draw. As soon as we saw Manchester United come out, everyone at the club was delighted. It brings back so many happy memories of when we were in the Premier League, and we got to play these teams on a regular basis.”

More significant for Maloney is that he will come up against United – a club that has a special place in his heart.

The 40-year-old revealed that while he grew up as a Celtic fan, he regularly made his way to Old Trafford to watch United under Sir Alex.

He revealed that he considered the Red Devils as his “second team” due to Sir Alex’s exploits in Scotland with Aberdeen.

Maloney relayed, “So this game will be a great test, but also a great privilege to be a manager against a club that means so much to me.”

He thanked Sir Alex for his help and advice through the years and declared his hope that the Scot will be in attendance for the match on Monday.

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