Custom Search

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Boss stunned by Cup draw

Sir Alex Ferguson admits he was stunned to learn United had been drawn with yet another Premier League side when the Reds were paired with Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round.

Incredibly, it'll be the tenth time in succession that United have faced top flight opposition and the Reds' boss jokingly suggested it is becoming more than just a coincidence.

"I just can't believe it!" he told MUTV. "Everyone thinks the draw is fixed so BBC can get the best game - I'm beginning to wonder!

"I think there were four ties that came out before ours without us, Arsenal or Chelsea and I was thinking 'oh come on, surely it can't happen?'

"Nevertheless, I always say you can't ask for any more than a home draw. The build-up will be enormous and I'm sure there will be interest from everyone all over the world. Sometimes these games can disappoint, but I'm sure it'll be a fantastic Cup tie." Read more...

Carrick glad Scholes is back

Michael Carrick was pleased to see Paul Scholes back pulling the strings in the middle of the park, even if it does mean more competition for places in midfield.

Scholes made his first start in over three months since damaging knee ligaments in October - his 550th appearance in total - and looked as sharp as ever, orchestrating United’s attacking moves in the 2-0 win over Portsmouth.

For Carrick, Owen Hargreaves, Anderson and Darren Fletcher, it could mean less playing time, but none of them look on the 33-year-old’s return to action as anything other than positive.

“It’s great to have Scholesy back,” Carrick told MUTV. “We have been getting good results without him in the team, so to have him back now is a boost to everyone.

“He’s a top, top player. You saw against Portsmouth what he can do, and he seemed to fit in like he has never been away. It’s great to see him back.”

Carrick insists that all five central midfielders at Old Trafford must not count the word ‘dropped’ as part of their football vocabulary.

“Every one of the midfielders is playing really well,” he says. “But we all know that we’re not going to play in every single game. But it’s not a case of getting dropped, it’s about resting players and keep everyone in top shape and in good form. That’s certainly the case at the moment. Hopefully we can all stay sharp for the run-in, that will only help us.” Read more...

Welbeck relishes his chance

United’s teenage striker Danny Welbeck is targeting more involvement in the Reds senior team after being given a taste of first-team action on the recent trip to Saudi Arabia.

The skilful 17-year-old striker, who was part of the squad that reported for duty against Portsmouth, made a distinct impression as a substitute in the 3-2 friendly defeat to Al Hilal in Riyadh last week.

Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson says Welbeck, an England U17 international, will now be regularly involved with the first-team and could be given his competitive debut before the end of the current season after being handed the squad number 47.

For Welbeck, it was back to Under-18 duties last weekend, scoring the first goal in a 3-3 draw with Everton.

“I’m trying to get as many goals as possible,” he told MUTV. “I scored again for the U18s and I want to keep on scoring goals.”

But the lure of first-team football is intense, especially after his experience in the Middle East.

“It was great,” the Manchester-born forward declared. “The players and the coaches were all really welcoming. They helped me get through it all. The training was so quick, but it was a good experience.

“It was a shame that I missed the penalty, but I’m over that now. I hope I can be involved with the first team more often, which can only help me improve as a player.” Read more...

Ron just two hot

You’ll never stop Ronaldo! That was the message from Old Trafford last night as Manchester United’s Portuguese ace continued his astonishing scoring run.
He notched twice in the space of four first-half minutes to put Sir Alex Ferguson’s side on course for another regulation win.
Ronaldo has scored nine in his last five games, and has failed to hit the net in only two of his last 16 outings.
Last night’s first was a one-on-one against keeper David James, but the second was a stunning free kick that he simply slammed over the wall.
Bill Thornton, Daily Star