Time for Charles and Co to step up to the plate. (©PAphotos)
Until last season, Wigan fans asked the question eight or so times per season ‘why can’t we beat a top four side?’. Well Roberto’s boys sorted that out last year with three magnificent wins at home against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.
However, Wigan have never got even a draw against Manchester United who they face for the 12th time this weekend. Why? We’ve come pretty close 0-1 Old Trafford, 1-2 (twice) at home. But 0-5 at home 0-4, 0-5 away; frequent, total capitulation.
I could understand this if the original 2005-2006 Premiership promotion team was still playing for Wigan - they could see United as their bete noir, the bridge too far, the Goliath that cannot be beaten, especially after two 0-4 hammerings - one in a cup final no less.
That team has long gone however - not a single member of the squad that will play on Saturday was in that team.
What is it about United that gets to Wigan teams?
It’s strange because we really have nothing to lose – no-one expects anything and after last season, eyebrows would not be raised at a 0-6, 0-7 or even 1-9 thumping.
I have seen a Wigan team put the frighteners on United a couple of times - notably in January 2009 when United needed the points and Wigan were at full strength - Antonio Valencia, Amr Zaki, Wilson Palacios and Emile Heskey all on the pitch.
Despite going behind to an early goal, Wigan dominated with especially Valencia causing all sorts of problems for the United defence.
We still lost but we all saw a crack in the United fortress.
So it proved on their next encounter, this time at home, with Hugo Rodallega scoring early from a mix up between Van der Sar and Nemanja Vidic. Again we lost, this time to skill from Carlos Tevez and a last gasp goal from Michael Carrick. We just couldn’t hang on. The belief went and with it the points. United got out of jail again at our expense.
Where does that leave the current crop of adopted Wiganers? After the last two games against Liverpool and West Brom, there appears more belief than ever that this could be when we lay our final Premiership ghost to rest - when we get a point from the other Manchester team.
With players like N’Zogbia, Hugo and Victor Moses, we have a forward line to be feared. With pace, skill and power we can really cause some headaches, hopefully this weekend.
This isn’t just empty statistics, it really is our turn. We have the players, we have the game.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.