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Man Utd boss points finger at Bolton party players

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 May 2008


Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that title rivals Chelsea's final fixture of the season will be against a Bolton side that has “been out celebrating all week” and hit out at claims Manchester United will have it easy at Wigan.

With the top two on the same number of points, United need to match Chelsea's result on Sunday to clinch Ferguson's tenth title on goal difference, and the Scot has been irritated by suggestions his side have the easier task.

The week has been dominated by claims that Wigan, who are managed by former United defender Steve Bruce, will be easy opposition, having secured their top-flight status.

But Ferguson thinks that the focus on the Latics has been unfair because it ignores the fact that Bolton, barring a freak set of results on Sunday, have also secured their top flight status following last weekend's win over Sunderland.

“People have been questioning the integrity of Wigan and nobody has questioned or even mentioned Bolton,” Ferguson said.

“It's interesting, the different attitudes because you've got Wigan players saying that they want to beat Man United and I have no problem about that, we're a big club.

“Then you hear about Bolton players out celebrating all week and it amazes me, that change in attitude.

“Both teams are safe, both teams are relaxed, both teams are comfortable but one can celebrate and the other is all keyed up to play against Manchester United.”

The United boss may have been attempting to put the Bolton players in a position where they will have a point to prove at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

He emphasised that his comments were not intended to be disrespectful to Bolton manager Gary Megson, or his assistant Archie Knox, who has worked for Ferguson in the past.

“The only thing I think about Bolton and what gives me confidence about them is the manager and the assistant manager,” Ferguson said.

“I had Archie Knox for a number of years at Aberdeen and at United and I wish he was playing actually because he won't enjoy having his players out celebrating and Gary Megson won't enjoy hearing about his players being out celebrating when there's an important game for the league.

“But I'm confident in these two guys taking their team down to Chelsea. As far as I'm concerned, we're going to Wigan and it doesn't matter what Wigan players or Chelsea players are saying. It doesn't matter.

“They're saying it for reasons. We're going to there with a great chance of winning the league. We're the form team, with good players and fantastic support.”

Ferguson could have Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic available again after suffering concussion in the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea a fortnight ago.

He is also hopeful that Wayne Rooney could return to the bench after two weeks out with a hip injury but has dismissed any doubts about the England striker's chances of featuring in the Champions League final against Chelsea.

“I'm not so sure about Wayne. I'm hoping to have him as a sub on Sunday but he will certainly be fit for the Champions League final,” he added.

United go into the final round of matches with a 17-goal advantage over Chelsea in terms of goal difference.

“I've made the point over the last few seasons that to have a good goal difference gives you that extra edge on everyone and in most seasons we've had the best goal difference,” Ferguson said.

“I've no fears on the fitness side, I've no fears on the confidence side, no fears on the form. We're going into it in the right form.”


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