Monday, 2 March 2009

No high fives from Ferguson

No other manager has arguably mastered the art of bursting a bubble quite as effectively as Sir Alex Ferguson.

So we assume he is well placed to predict it will be a tough ask for Manchester United to win an unprecedented five trophies this season.

The wily Scot made his assertion after United lifted their second major piece of silverware of the season following a dramatic penalty shoot-out to finally overcome Tottenham at Wembley in the Carling Cup final on Sunday.

Ferguson made an educated risk by putting his faith in emerging stars Darron Gibson and Danny Welbeck and the outcome might have different had reserve goalkeeper Ben Foster not saved from inspired winger Aaron Lennon.

But United carry a confidence that comes with winning eight consecutive Premier League games since the turn of the year and their refusal to throw the towel in has to be admired.

United have already been crowned world club champions, are seven points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League and have reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

On March 11 the holders will attempt to send Jose Mourinho's Internazionale packing from the Champions League to book a last-eight place in Europe's premier club competition.

Suffice to say it is not beyond the realms of possibility.

However, Ferguson rained on giddy United fans' expectations when he insisted talk of a clean sweep was premature.

Mindful of a potential banana skin against Newcastle at St James' Park on Wednesday, he said: "The great advantage I have is I won't get carried away with it."

When pressed about the prospect of a quintuple, he added: "We'll keep our feet on the ground.

"It would be great to think we could do it but my experience says we could go to Fulham next weekend, get a deflected shot off someone's backside and we're out of the FA Cup."

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