Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ferguson eyes rare treble

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 Jan 2013


Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes his squad are capable of repeating the legendary feats of his 1999 team by winning another treble.

The Red Devils, who sit four points clear of rivals Manchester City having played a game fewer, are unbeaten in 10 Premier League matches and will extend their lead at the top if they beat Tottenham on Sunday.

Ferguson’s side, unlike their adversaries, also remain in the Champions League as they await the much-heralded arrival of Real Madrid in February.

With a fourth-round FA Cup fixture against Fulham also imminent, the Scot expressed his confidence in his squad’s ability to flourish in the latter half of the season.

“We want to be involved in everything. We’ve got all three trophies to go for – and we’ve got the squad to do it. It’s absolutely brilliant for everyone connected with Manchester United,” he told reporters.

“We have got the excitement of going to Real Madrid in the Champions League and them coming here. We’ve got Fulham in the FA Cup as well after winning our ¬replay against West Ham. And if you go back to the year we won the treble, we had a cup replay against Chelsea and ¬another one against Arsenal.”

The veteran manager also spoke of his pleasure at the return of such defensive stalwarts as Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, emphasising the difference that the returning players can make to the side.

“The squad is looking very strong at the moment with players coming back in. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were absolutely brilliant against Liverpool last week and against West Ham we had Phil Jones and Chris Smalling,” he said.

“If they all stay fit then we’re in a strong position. It’s good news because we are over a lot of -injuries now and if they get a bit of football and training behind them, it will make a big ¬difference.”

Ferguson added that he would take his players on a mini break to Qatar next week.

The 71-year-old, who claimed a golfing holiday rejuvenated his squad last season, is mindful of United’s congested fixture list.

United will travel to Qatar straight after their fixture against Tottenham at White Hart Lane and will focus on team-building exercises at the Aspire Academy in Doha, a multi-sport facility which cost $1.3 billion to build.

As well as boosting team spirit, Ferguson will be hoping the trip can aid the recovery of Ashley Young and Jonny Evans, who are both currently sidelined through injury, as well as prepare Wayne Rooney for regular playing time following his return from a knee problem on Wednesday.

With snow also potentially offering a disruption to United’s training schedule, Ferguson is also eager to suffer minimal hindrances in his side’s preparations.



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