Patrice Evra has warned his Manchester United team-mates that they cannot afford to become complacent despite having one hand on the Premier League title.
The FIFA Club World Cup champions and UEFA Champions League finalists will move six points clear at the summit with two games remaining if they defeat mid-table Wigan Athletic away from home on Wednesday. That will leave Sir Alex Ferguson's side requiring a point at home to Arsenal on Saturday to secure a record equalling 18th league title.
Yet Evra is taking nothing for granted as the French international eyes his third Premier League winners medal since moving to Old Trafford from Monaco in January 2006. "We're nearly there," said Evra. "If we win against Wigan, it will be very important for winning the title. But it's not finished yet. Now we need a good recovery before we play our next game.
"We have a Champions League final to look forward to, but we have to put that to the back of our minds and concentrate on the league. The manager tells us we need to win every game. At Manchester United the aim is always to win.
"In March we lost to Liverpool and Fulham, the first time since I arrived that we'd lost two league games in a row. I've never felt pain like that in my life before and I don't want to feel like that again. That's why I'm confident we'll finish the job and go on and win the league."
United have not lost a league game against Wigan and the last time they visited the JJB Stadium they left with the Premier League trophy after winning 2-0 to clinch the title on the final day of last season. Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot in that victory yet the Portugal winger could be rested this time as Ferguson rotates his squad following Sunday's 2-0 victory over Manchester City.
Ronaldo reacted with a display of petulance when he was substituted after scoring against City yet Ferguson refused to criticise the player afterwards. Carlos Tevez, whose future remains unclear, may make way for Wayne Rooney even though the Argentina striker scored against City. Tevez celebrated his goal by running to the main stand and cupping his ear as fans chanted "Fergie, Fergie sign him up".
Evra is close friends with Tevez, whose two year loan at the club expires in the summer. "I am very pleased for Carlitos. Whenever he plays, he respects the shirt of Manchester United. He is a great professional," added Evra.
Spoil the party
Wigan are managed by former United captain Steve Bruce. Yet Bruce will put sentiment to one side as he looks to delay his former club's title party. Having enjoyed a largely successful season, Wigan have picked up just one point from the last five games and Bruce is anxious his players finish on a winning note.
Wigan captain Mario Melchiot revealed that Bruce let rip after Saturday's 3-1 defeat at West Brom. "The gaffer was understandably upset," said Netherlands international Melchiot.
"It's a big game coming up against Manchester United which is going to be tough, but it's one we're looking forward to. The big games are always special occasions and we hope to perform a lot better."
Wigan will be without Egypt striker Amr Zaki because of a knee injury while former England keeper Chris Kirkland is also struggling with a back injury.