Ferguson demands more bite
Sir Alex Ferguson is concerned over the kind of goals United have conceded
Manchester United landed in Transylvania on Monday afternoon with Sir Alex Ferguson ordering his side to start baring their teeth.
United's spluttering opening to the new season caught up with them at Old Trafford on Saturday. For the fifth time in six Premier League outings, they fell behind. But, against a speedy and durable Tottenham team, Ferguson's team left themselves too much to do and slipped to their second defeat of the campaign.
While praising United's second-half performance, Ferguson was furious with what went on before the break. It followed on from similar lacklustre displays earlier in the season, particularly at Southampton and Liverpool.
And, speaking ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League clash with CFR Cluj in Romania, Ferguson has vowed it will not continue.
"We were well off the pace of the game. I don't think we won a tackle in the first half," said the United boss. "The second half was probably our best performance of the season.
"When you consider the first half against Southampton, the first half Liverpool and first half on Saturday, we have some work to do. You have to be concerned losing goals the way we did. It's not planned but I think it will be the last."
On Saturday, stand-in skipper Patrice Evra said he believed the problem might be mental. His manager does not think so. Instead, with so many key defenders injured, including Nemanja Vidic, Ferguson is hoping the consistency of Rio Ferdinand's central defensive partnership with Jonny Evans will start to have a positive impact.
"After the first half on Saturday I had plenty of concerns," he said. "I hope it's an awareness thing because we faced this situation at the end of October last season, and from then on when Jonny and Rio played together consistently we played better."
The absence of Michael Carrick had already been confirmed before departure. Like Carrick, Ryan Giggs also remained at home due to a virus, while 37-year-old Paul Scholes was rested having completed the full 90 minutes against Tottenham.
It means Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley will compete for midfield slots along with Anderson, whom Ferguson concedes was unfortunate to be overlooked at the weekend.
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liverpool 15th and only one win in 5months! if were going downhill liverpool are going down!
utd lack a roy keane style midfielder and someone to put the players in their places!! they also lack pace! carricks not the answer and in this state of mind neither is nani!
oi twodogs if u seriously think ferguson is reading these comments u really are deluded! im also sure hes sat there in front of his computer with a cup of tea sorri i mean whiskey crying over the comments u just made about him!
heres a number for u to phone for help!! its the man utd and sir alex ruined my life line! 0845 19191919
I think, personally, SAF will get the best out of them. Especially if after a game he thinks they may have lacked a mite. He is a winner and always strives for the utmost .... most of his players know not to fall short of his expectations. I think that Man U are only ever beaten by a better team on the day ... yes of course some time the ball won't run for them, or the Ref lets them down lol, but they are out and out trying 90 plus minutes every game. They know better than relax, or shirk. Well that's what I think lol, so they will be giving 100%, you can be sure of that!
twoknobs, one diff fergies loaded and won everything! your jsut a sad bitter little boy! and for some reason i couldnt imagine someone going upto hi msaying " some **** called twoknobs has been calling u"
but u just keep getting that anger out son!! would u like a hanky to cry into! after all hes clearly ruined your life over the last 25yrs! there must be a lot of anger for u to get out there!
I'm can't believe the comments bellow about inter city trouble. When I was kid the most competitive game of the year was the United Liverpool derby, now its a side show as Liverpool are a football non entity. 80's dominance has long since become a very dim and very distant memory.
United have started badly this season but they have for the last few and even with an aging lacklustre team they still drew the league last year and won it the previous couple. I don't mind a slow start as long at the end result is trophies!