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Fergie guards against complacency ahead of Everton visit

April 22, 2011 Tags: , Matches 119 comments

Sir Alex Ferguson says Everton will pose a significant threat to Manchester United’s title aspirations this weekend, with the in-form Toffees at Old Trafford on Saturday. But with just five Premier League games to go, victory against David Moyes’ men will leave United requiring just seven points to secure a 19th domestic league title. It’s a position from which the title is now United’s to lose despite the disappointing draw at Newcastle United on Tuesday night.

Indeed, Ferguson is delighted with the commanding lead built up in this year’s title race, despite his side’s indifferent form away from Old Trafford. However, with the Reds having won all but one game at home this season, Ferguson says the principal risk to achieving the club’s dreams this season lies in complacency. Something the 69-year-old Scot is keen to guard against for the Saturday lunchtime kick off.

“It is good to know someone is behind you,” Ferguson said.

“You have to recognise who is there because we cannot become complacent. In that sense we use our experience of years past in situations like this. Hopefully it will get us where we want to go.

“If we win, we will only have four games left and we will have a six-point lead. That is the way I am looking at it. I am not looking beyond that. It is never going to be easy against Everton. It is a local derby of sorts. But our home record is fantastic and so is our performance level.”

Ferguson can boast an almost fully fit squad for Everton’s visit, although the United manager has concerns over Dimitar Berbatov’s fitness, while Darren Fletcher will not return for another fortnight. However, with Brazilian youngster Rafael da Silva returning to the squad, Ferguson has a plethora of defensive options available for the first time in months. Although fit, Rio Ferdinand has a minor calf strain and may not be risked ahead of the Champions League semi-final.

“Darren is back training now,” Ferguson added.

“He has done a good week and might be available in 10 days’ time. Rafael is back in the squad tomorrow and we will see what Dimitar Berbatov is like because he has a slight groin strain.”

Paul Scholes is suspended for the first of three matches after the red card picked up in last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City. In what is likely to be the final month of Scholes’ United career, the flamed-haired midfielder will also miss games against Arsenal and Chelsea, before returning for the final two Premier League matches of the season.

Manchester United v Everton, Old Trafford, 23 April 2011With Berbatov struggling to be ready – the Bulgarian has a minor groin strain – Ferguson is again likely to pair Javier Hernández and Wayne Rooney is attack, despite the strikers drawing a blank at Newcastle this week.

Ferguson must also lift his troops after the FA Cup semi-final defeat to City and the goalless draw with Newcastle on Tyneside. While Arsenal’s failure to beat either Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur over the past week has significantly strengthened United’s hand, Ferguson is aware that matches with both the Gunners and Chelsea loom large.

Indeed, with Chelsea also six points behind United and the west Londoners’ visit to Old Trafford coming in early May, the Reds cannot afford to drop any further points at home. Whatever the results between now and the end of the season, should United win the title Ferguson’s outfit will boast the worst away record of any champions since Liverpool in 1977.

Ferguson is also well aware of the challenge posed by Everton, whose form has picked up in recent weeks. Although Moyes has rarely been afforded money to spend in the transfer market, the cash-strapped Toffees have repeatedly over-performed under the Scot’s tutelage.

“It’s amazing what David has done,” added Ferguson.

“He has had to cope with a mountain of injuries over the last few weeks but Everton have still churned out the results. Even last season when he was without Phil Jagielka he still got them motivated. What he did well two or three years ago was to use the money he had available to get all his younger players on long-term contracts.

“That created a consistency in his squad which is proving very beneficial now. He brings people in to freshen his team up and they are able to do a job.”

Moyes is likely to be without three key players for the visit to Old Trafford, where the Toffees have not won in 17 matches. John Heitinga, who was forced off against Blackburn Rovers because of a hamstring problem last week, faces a late fitness test. Meanwhile, Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta are unlikely to make Saturday’s match.

And Moyes has warned United that his side has nothing to lose, with the Liverpudlians unlikely to qualify for Europe next season but safe from any fear of relegation.

“We know that we’re going to have to go and give it a go,” said Moyes.

“But we’re the ones who don’t have much to lose. We’re in a position where we’ve got an early kick-off tomorrow and we’ll try and go there and do something about it.

“I think Man United have gradually got better as the season has gone on, which they tend to do anyway. When they weren’t playing well they ground out results, kept going, picked up the points.

“It’s a great place to play your football but coming with it is a bit of fear because you’re going to play the top side in the country. But we’re going there in decent form and we can go there and given them a good game.”

That is almost certain, but with the title now firmly in focus, it is United’s greater desire that could decide the fixture in the Reds favour. United supporters worldwide will trust it is the case.

Opposition
Everton – 451 – Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Rodwell, Neville, Coleman, Bilyaletdinov; Beckford. Subs from: Vellios, Gueye, Mucha, Shkodran Mustafi, Forshaw, Anichebe, Nsiala, McAleny, Saha.

United
United – 442 – van der Sar; Rafael, Vidic, Smalling, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Nani; Rooney, Hernandez. Subs from: Kuszczak, Owen, Bébé, Fabio, Park, Obertan, Gibson, Berbatov, Park, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Giggs.

Officials
Referee: Peter Walton
Assistant referees: Mike Cairns & Ron Ganfield
Fourth official: Kevin Friend

Form
United – WWWWLD
Everton – WDWDWW

119 comments

Alfonso Bedoya - April 22, 2011 Reply

If this was at Goodison, I’d worry, but on our patch, with what’s at stake… I’m confident.

2-0

sidney - April 23, 2011 Reply

Aye, we’ll win
Just 2 dropped points at Old Trafford means Everton won’t even expect a pot to piss in
Score first and they’ll stop trying, like Fulham, and it will just be a kick about in the sun

sheesh - April 23, 2011 Reply

Wakey wakey you cunts. Kick off is little over 2 hours away Ffs and there is no one on here. Not got high expectations of a great performance but I think we will sneak past them in the last minute.

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

2-0 rooney. 18/1

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

need to fly from the off
high tempo
berbs up front will unlock their sticky toffee grip
come on united

Spudiator - April 23, 2011 Reply

I’d expect nothing less than a win. After the last 2 games we’re in danger of losing momentum, and at this time of year that’d be disastrous. Apart from anything else, I’m sure the players will be keen to put out a message to the rest of the league that we’re not taking the title for granted.

Odd thought though, if Arsenal and Chelsea won every game they’ve got left, and United won their other 3 games, all 3 teams would finish level on points and the title would be decided on goal difference!

sukhy5 - April 23, 2011 Reply

Aye Sheesh.

3-0 win in the sun.

Remember the 4-1 win of West Ham in the 07/08 season? Tevez long range? Deasn Ashton scissor kick?

It will be a feel good win today. As soon as the first goal goes in, all nerves will disappear.

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

han said:
need to fly from the off
high tempo
berbs up front will unlock their sticky toffee grip
come on united

berb is injured i think

sukhy5 - April 23, 2011 Reply

Aye Tel. Missed training with a grion injury.

Rooney and Javier up front for me.

Work finishes for me in 30 mins.

Go home. A strong coffee. Feet up. Then the game

P.S

I like my coffee in the same way Spike likes his men…Strong and black.

Er…nevermind.

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

Man Utd: Van der Sar, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Evans, Fabio Da Silva, Valencia, Gibson, Anderson, Nani, Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Kuszczak, Evra, Brown, Owen, Giggs, Carrick, Rafael Da Silva.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Neville, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov, Osman, Beckford. Subs: Mucha, Cahill, Gueye, Vellios, Anichebe, Mustafi, Duffy.
Referee: Peter Walton

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

in order sheesh you cock.. what a defence

that is scary

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

“74% – Manchester United’s PL win percentage with Nemanja Vidic since Jan 2006, compared to 58% without him. Gamble.”

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

true

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

is he injured or rested

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

rested i think. 1 eye on shalkeid say. awful team. spineless

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

well i dunno about anyone else…but i’m v nervous at this present moment

Gabagool - April 23, 2011 Reply

Fuck me, Gibson n evans start vidic out. Got a bad feeling about this, any team with oshite, Evans and Gibson starting is not looking good.

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

hi Han, me two after our last two games, if we win today we will win the league.

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

madredmonkey said:
hi Han, me two after our last two games, if we win today we will win the league.

hi mad red
need to start with a high tempo and push them back

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

early united goal would be nice.

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

link
http://www.mbovo.fw.hu/

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

no park in squad today, whats up with him

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

come on united
why is nani so poor at the majority of his decision making?

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

where is everyone

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

han said:
come on united
why is nani so poor at the majority of his decision making?

he is half the player on the left

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

ltel said:
he is half the player on the left

nah, once inside the box never passes, never

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

still true tho.. not a left winger imo

Gabagool - April 23, 2011 Reply

Jesus wept. How did John oshea make a career in football? He is an absolute fecking donkey.

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

ltel said:
still true tho.. not a left winger imo

true, could have tried Fabio a bit more there this season

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

fabio is beter than rafael. looks really good every time i see him play

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

nice play between Anderson and Hernandez there

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

we may as well give the ball to the opposition for a goal kick when we get a corner

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

take tha shite elsewere gibson

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

The only thing Gibsons good at… long shots… he can’t even do that anymore.

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

everton content to soak up pressure

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

What a save…

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

come on reds
give us a goal

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

united, united, score.

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

Everton defending well… we’ll need a bit of magic to sort ’em out.

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

saw david moyes in half then put him back together

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

fuck how did we miss that

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

another thing mexico is good at

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

the last 10 mins has been like watching Arsenal

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

we will score if we keep this pressure up

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

Chico just not reading the play…

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

he should hve had 2 already…

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

Nani, you fuckin thick twat!

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

We’ve played well without scoring. Should score early in the second half.

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

just score.

Victor - April 23, 2011 Reply

Nani forgets that its O’Shea playing behind him, not Evra.

cabronyc - April 23, 2011 Reply

What a joke of a fuckin player Gibson and O’Shea are!!!!

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

need an early goal or else pressure to change things around will increase
owen needs a game and is an option – any one to take their defence out of position

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

irish twats

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

everton changes
cahill and anichibe on
SAF may have had the dryer on at h/t on a low setting

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

slow start ffs

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

come on united
score Manchester

Victor - April 23, 2011 Reply

Who else would like us to win the league by beating Chelsea at home?

Just need to beat Everton, French Academy and the Renties.

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

close again

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

Blog Commenter said:
Who else would like us to win the league by beating Chelsea at home?

Just need to beat Everton, French Academy and the Renties.

im at balckpool game, want to win it then

Victor - April 23, 2011 Reply

That’d be too much tension to handle. Last game of the season …

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

dumb challenge from Rio

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

madmax said:
dumb challenge from Rio

Desperate…

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

penalty??

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

is it time to panic

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

Fabio is a better defender than his brother.

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

come on united.

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

madmax said:
is it time to panic

93rd minute it is

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

madmax said:
is it time to panic

Nah… we’ll score.

Calvino - April 23, 2011 Reply

Why are we so poor in this second half??

Calvino - April 23, 2011 Reply

Why is Nani going off again?? Sir Alex why please?

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
Nah… we’ll score.

I’m starting to get the jitters

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

woudl have been valencia off nani right owen or giggs on for me

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

ooff…

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

save vds..this is terrible again

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

come on United scoree

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

come on united score.

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

off the fucking bar

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

owen please

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

their 2 centre backs have been awesome

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

Goal coming…

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

unlucky owen

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

another fucking corner
another fucking waste

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

Anderson just cant even take a clean shot at goal

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

madmax said:
Anderson just cant even take a clean shot at goal

think hes been pretty good today

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

he’s been very good but his shots are annoying

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

what a save.. come on united we must score

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet peaaaaaaaaaaaa

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

1-0 united.

Czuk - April 23, 2011 Reply

good stuff, love rooney’s celebration!

ltel - April 23, 2011 Reply

yeeeeeeeeeeeessss mexico mexic

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

Rooney and Anderson midfield… I think I like that.

Czuk - April 23, 2011 Reply

ferdinand just picked cahill up like a puppy

haha

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

Aside from a dodgy penalty shout, Evans has done ok…

Victor - April 23, 2011 Reply

If it weren’t for that AON logo, I’d buy a Chicharito shirt …

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

yes 1-0 thank you sweat pea.

Calvino - April 23, 2011 Reply

What a relief. Goodness me. Now for Schalke on tuesday/wednesday. Let them all bring it on.

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

was beginning to totally shit myself near the end.

Victor - April 23, 2011 Reply

Now win against French Academy and Rent Boys and win the league.

Prepare for Real Madrid.

madmax - April 23, 2011 Reply

Its almost cruel how we gave hope to Arsenal till the final minutes and then snatch it away from them.

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

Hard work, but deserved win… over to London.

Czuk - April 23, 2011 Reply

Blog Commenter said:
Now win against French Academy and Rent Boys and win the league.

Prepare for Real Madrid.

tempting fate
1 – 0 against that Everton team shouldn’t strike fear into Schalke’s hearts.

league’s as good as in the bag tho, draws against chelsea and arsenal would do. in a sense it’s an easy run in as their fate is truly in their own hands.

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

everton are the in form team and so it proved with the pattern of the game
just breathed a huge sigh of relief at the end
i know its a long shot but if the happy hammers can get a result at the rent boys – this would be an immense start to the weekend – obviously i need help if i think those east end cockney wide boys will do anything apart from spread their cheeks tonight

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

can relax and enjoy the sun, have a good weekend everyone.

han - April 23, 2011 Reply

madredmonkey said:
can relax and enjoy the sun, have a good weekend everyone.

cheers mad red
see u l8r
cap’n desperate to frolic with us in the sun………

Calvino - April 23, 2011 Reply

han said:
everton are the in form team and so it proved with the pattern of the game
just breathed a huge sigh of relief at the end
i know its a long shot but if the happy hammers can get a result at the rent boys – this would be an immense start to the weekend – obviously i need help if i think those east end cockney wide boys will do anything apart from spread their cheeks tonight

han!!! That last line had me laughing out really loud.

cabronyc - April 23, 2011 Reply

Blog Commenter said:
If it weren’t for that AON logo, I’d buy a Chicharito shirt …

DO what I did: buy a high-end quality red tshirt, buy the team crest separately and imprint the name & number on the back.

Victor - April 23, 2011 Reply

Nice idea. Don’t know where to buy the crest from though 🙁

madredmonkey - April 23, 2011 Reply

han said:
cheers mad red
see u l8r
cap’n desperate to frolic with us in the sun………

he is always in the shade mate.

reddread - April 23, 2011 Reply

Hernandez does it again! Best signing on the summer, no question. I was convinced we were going to score, but the closer it got to the end…

sheesh - April 23, 2011 Reply

What did Timmy Tourettes think he was doing with his time-wasting? Stupid twat.

Huge relief we won that game.

Pikey McScum - April 23, 2011 Reply

Could someone post Sir Alex’ post match interview on SSN, purely cos it was fucking genius!

“They should be punished for that” – reference to Everton’s time wasting

“Why can’t we go to those places and win?” – reference to the media’s view that Utd won’t win their games against Arsenal and Chelski

SAF>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>God

Fact.

sidney - April 23, 2011 Reply

Missed the match because I knew it would be a piece of piss

Apparently Anderson was superb – best player on the pitch?

And Gibson was shite

sheesh - April 23, 2011 Reply

I wouldn’t say it was that easy. We had tons of possession but were a bit sloppy in the final third. The longer the game went on, the more on edge everyone became. Yes, everton came to not get beaten but it looked like it might be a frustrating afternoon until hernandez scored.

Alfonso Bedoya - April 23, 2011 Reply

sidney said:
Missed the match because I knew it would be a piece of piss

Apparently Anderson was superb – best player on the pitch?

And Gibson was shite

That was some of the best I’ve seen from Anderson in a long while… he played a few balls that were pure class.

sheesh - April 23, 2011 Reply

He is capable of performances like today and then you wonder why he can be frustrating at times. Maybe he just needs a run of games. He did suffer injury earlier this season and he was out for a while but he played well before his time in the treatment room.

sidney - April 23, 2011 Reply

I reckon there are language problems with Ando

I’ve just watched a post-match interview with him, and Chico had to translate the questions (which he did brilliantly)

The cunt has been here, what, 4 seasons and he barely knows a word of English by the sound of it

For a midfielder who has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, it seems bizarre

baggio365 - April 24, 2011 Reply

yeah that seemed odd. maybe he’s just a thick cunt. as long as he can keep playing passes like he did today, who cares

captainhormone - April 24, 2011 Reply

TBF HE SHOULD BE SPEAKING ENGLISH NOW….I CAN, SO IF I CAN HE CAN

Bill - April 25, 2011 Reply

Chico just showing us that he is dedicated and class act all round. First season at the club, scores the winner to almost give us the title and then acts as translator in the post match interview – CLASS!! Green and gold sombreros for the 2011-12 season it is then!!

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