Valencia: Sentiment out the window

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia admits Monday's visitors to Old Trafford hold a special place in his heart - but that won't stop him from remaining focused on the job.

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United host Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day in a match where Valencia will see many familiar faces around.

The Ecuadorian's first taste of England came after the Latics brought him over from Spain's Villarreal but after having established himself in the Barclays Premier League, he left the DW Stadium in the summer of 2009 in order to join United.

"[Wigan] will always have a special place in my heart," Antonio told United Review.

"I came here from abroad and I was taken in as one of the family from the first day.

"It was a real special group of players that we had in those few seasons there, and it was great to be a part of. I have only have gratitude and fond memories of my time there. I still speak regularly with Maynor Figueroa, who is a close friend of mine.

"I do look out for their scores. I know at the minute they're by no means out of danger, but they're working hard and they've picked up some decent results recently and let's hope they can get up there and be fighting for ninth or tenth place."

However, Valencia insists there will be no room for sentiment as United aim to keep their Barclays Premier League title bid on track with a win against his former side.

"Of course not," he said.

"We're professionals and we know that all that goes out of the window and the result is the main thing. The main thing is that United keep on picking up points and building momentum."

Manchester City are currently top of the Barclays Premier League but only by two points which means Roberto Mancni's side could well lose top spot if they suffer defeat at West Brom on Monday while United beat Wigan at Old Trafford.

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