Sunday, 29 April 2012

Alex Ferguson Issues United A City Warning



SIR Alex Ferguson has warned his players - lose at City and you've blown the title!

The Reds chief fears a season's hard work will go down the drain if they fail to deny the Blues on their own turf.

United would still be level on points with their ``noisy neighbours'' even if they suffered a painful defeat.

But Fergie reckons City's superior goal difference would be enough to see them home over the final two games.

The Blues may still have a trip to Champions League chasing Newcastle to deal with before finishing off the campaign at home to QPR but he believes both of those obstacles would be overcome.

Fergie said: ``I think they probably would win it from there if they beat us. Even though they’ve got to go to Newcastle. I think they’d have a great chance.''

United finish off their season with winnable matches against Swansea at home and Sunderland away.

But defeat at the Etihad means they go into the game playing catch-up football - a scenario the Scot is dreading contemplating.

So he is ordering his men to run out at City determined to claim a victory that puts them in the box seat.

He added: ``If we win, we’d be strong favourites. A draw, we’d be favourites. No doubt about that, two games to go. A home game and an away game.

``We’d have to be happy with that. But we won’t be talking about going there not to lose.”

United come into the game showing some stuttering form that includes a shock defeat at Wigan and a surprise 4-4 draw with Everton.

Whilst the Blues are flying since the return of Carlos Tevez and full of beans having scored 12 goals in their last three games.

But Ferguson is not bothered about looking through history books, he knows this bout is simply down to who holds their nerve.

``It doesn’t matter what’s happened for the rest of the season,'' he said. ``They’re undefeated at home, we have the best away record. It doesn’t matter, this is a one off game.

``We have enough experience, enough pace, enough good footballers and plenty of determination. I think we’ll be all right in that respect.

``A game of that nature can be decided by anything – you hope it’s not going to be decided by a bad decision, that’s for sure.

``The focus that’s on it, it’s important that it’s a good game. We’re representing a city and it’s all over the world. There’s 203 countries going to watch it – Michel Platini is going to come and watch.

``It creates a certain occasion and we want to represent ourselves in the right way.''

It's no surprise to Ferguson that City are challenging for the title at the death - although he thought some of the other big guns might still have been in with a shout at this stage.

He added: ``I thought that City would be our big challenge this year particularly with the early season programme they had.

``I mean they didn’t really play anyone at the start of the season, they got off to a really good flyer because of it. Whereas ourselves we had Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham in the first four or five games.

``We had a really difficult programme at the beginning . So they got a good start to the season and that projected them forward. But I did expect them to be there.

``I also thought Chelsea with the new manager coming through, a sort of enthusiasm for a young manager coming in, a lot of experienced players. I thought they would have been a challenger.''

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