Mr. Ferguson expecting more twists and turns in title race
Mr. Ferguson believe the important aspect of his side's defeat to Wigan is how they respond against Aston Villa
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guardian.co.uk, Saturday 14 April 2012 23.00 BST
Mr. Ferguson says his side have to bounce back from their defeat at Wigan against struggling Aston Villa Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Mr. Ferguson intends to play it safe for the rest of the season following Manchester United's unexpected reversal at Wigan, with all predictions and projections eschewed in favour of a focus on winning the next game.
Despite defeat at the DW Stadium United could still finish on their best ever Premier League points total by winning their remaining five games – 94 points at the end of what many consider to be an undistinguished season would put them only a point behind the record 95 set by Chelsea in José Mourinho's blistering first campaign – though Ferguson refuses to look that far ahead.
"I think we'll just concentrate on Sunday's game against Aston Villa," he says. "There's no need to look ahead. If you take care of the next game the rest will take care of itself."
In fairness to the United manager it was his City counterpart who was making all the assumptions last weekend. Roberto Mancini conceded the title race was over once United opened up a lead of eight points, and though it seemed little more than a statement of the obvious, if the intention was to lull Ferguson's players into a false sense of security the first part of the plan went well. Naturally the United manager denies any such psychology was at work.
"I don't think Wednesday night had anything to do with being eight points in front," Ferguson says. "I honestly believe that if we had been playing any other team but Wigan we would have been all right. It's unusual for teams to keep possession of the ball against us that well, they dominated us in the first half. Wigan are playing very well at the moment and I wouldn't be surprised if they beat Arsenal on Monday. If they can get a goal they can win that game. I think if they had a recognised goalscorer they would be comfortably mid-table by now. Roberto Martínez produces teams that play good football. He did it at Swansea and he is sticking to his principles at Wigan. You have to give him credit for that, it's not easy when you're down there in relegation trouble."
Ferguson has seen too many title run-ins not to know that points are always dropped along the way, sometimes in the most unexpected places, but is equally confident that his team has what it takes to bounce back. "You always get twists and turns, it's how you react that's important," he says. "I remember a few years ago when Liverpool beat us 4-1 at Old Trafford. That genius [Rafael] Benítez said they had planned to beat us by playing long balls behind us. Remember that? Clown."
What Ferguson may not care to remember is that he himself contributed some comedy of his own that day, trying to maintain United had been the better team despite a comprehensive hammering and Fernando Torres single-handedly leaving Nemanja Vidic's Footballer of the Year credentials in tatters, but his point is that United recovered to win the title by four points.
"I think the only time I can remember not dropping points in the run-in was the treble year," Ferguson says. "We went right through from December without losing, but that was unusual. Most years you get twists and turns, and even with five games to play you never think it's all over, because that's what this league is like. Villa are not completely safe yet, so they will be thinking the same way, and when you are looking at away trips to places like Wigan, Manchester City and Sunderland you know you will be in for difficult games.
"Everton at home will not be easy either, they are one of the form teams in the country at the moment, but all we are trying to do for the moment is get back on the winning track against Villa and not look too far ahead. We are in a good position in the league, and compared to the position we were in a few months ago we have to be delighted with the progress we have made."
Why is he talking about rafa again? i cant stand this man the odious c*nt, rafa clearly got under his skin to still be talking about him years later, in an article about the current title race.