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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Man U News

Man Utd figures targeted by Newcastle golfers

Newcastle United and the city are already gearing up for their big Premiership clash with Manchester United.The Daily Mail says figures of Manchester United footballers, including Cristiano Ronaldo, have been placed in the middle of the Parklands driving range in Newcastle for Geordie fans to aim at in the build-up to the forthcoming Premier League clash at St James' Park.

Fergie minds the gap at the top

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits he is hurting at falling into Arsenal's slipstream at the top of the Premier League table. The Gunners took advantage of Manchester United's defeat by Manchester City to move five points clear after beating Blackburn.
The reversal of fortune gives an added edge to the FA Cup fifth-round encounter on Saturday at Old Trafford between the arch-rivals. United boss Ferguson said: "I am not happy we are five points behind them. "You want to be leading at this stage of the campaign. "However, I have to say Arsenal are looking more compact and more solid than they were last season."

Ferguson is perplexed at marking his 100th FA Cup game by facing a Premier League side in the competition for the third time in succession this season. First of all Aston Villa were dispatched, then Carling Cup finalists Tottenham, both at Old Trafford. Ferguson quipped: "If we get through this one, I am going to the draw!" He insists he has no alternative but to shuffle his pack with a Champions League game to follow against Lyon on Wednesday. He said: "You cannot (keep the same side) in every game. That is why clubs have squads of 22 players. "You cannot go back to the days when Liverpool won the league with only 14 players to call on."

There is plenty of history between United and Arsenal but Ferguson has seen a change in the landscape. He said: "We both have different teams today and as a result it is now less fractious."
Meanwhile Ferguson is convinced Gary Neville will overcome his injury concerns, which centre around a long-standing ankle problem. "What Gary needs is a bit of luck," said the United boss.
"He's had setback after setback. "It is only because of his character he is able to persist in his efforts to get back. "He is getting all the help and encouragement we can give him.
"Gary is not far away but what he cannot afford is another niggling injury, which can happen."

Hargreaves: Man Utd will bounce back against Arsenal

Owen Hargreaves is confident Manchester United can bounce back from their derby humiliation against Arsenal in the FA Cup this weekend.United flopped to a 2-1 derby defeat against Manchester City on Sunday - and Arsenal beat Blackburn a day later to go five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League. But Hargreaves said on Thursday: "I don't think there's anyone with their head down. "The derby game has gone and we're all professional enough and have been in the game long enough to know there's a next game.

"We've got to take that opportunity to make things better." United face Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday, and then travel Lyon in the Champions League next Wednesday, before they return to Premier League action on February 24 at Newcastle. Hargreaves continued: "It's a long season and there are definitely games in a season that are more important than others.
"Next week is one of those weeks - we're in three competitions and it's very important to see what direction we are heading in. "But this is why our players are at Manchester United - because we expect to win games. "And winning games is what we are going to have to do if we are going to stay on top."