Friday 20 January 2012

Ferguson praises Arsenal recovery

Man Utd boss says Gunners will be tough to beat at the Emirates on Sunday

Manchester United cruised to victory over Arsenal back in August

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says he is not expecting another 8-2 scoreline when his side face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

United thumped the Gunners at Old Trafford back in August as Arsenal struggled for form at the start of the season.

But Ferguson said things will be different when the two sides meet in the return Barclays Premier League fixture this weekend.

"It's always a hard game with Arsenal and it should be a good one," he said.

"They recovered well, they had a really good spell, they've qualified for the next stage of the Champions League so there is not a lot wrong there.

"It will be a difficult game, they have only lost six goals at home this season. It's the second best defensive record.

"We play a big game, but another thing that is important is to come back to winning habits"
- Arsene Wenger

"There won't be a lot between the two teams on Sunday and let's hope we get the result we want and need."

Manchester United are currently second in the table, three points off leaders Manchester City and two ahead of third-placed Tottenham.

And Ferguson is determined to get a positive result on Sunday to gain momentum ahead of a tough run of fixtures which sees United face Liverpool (twice), Chelsea, Ajax (twice) and Tottenham by the beginning of March.

"It is the start of a hectic spell for us," added Ferguson, who revealed that midfielder Tom Cleverley could be back in action soon after an ankle injury.

"It's a fantastic run of games and obviously it's a programme we hope we come through well because it could decide a lot of the season."

Ferguson also praised returning striker Thierry Henry, who is back at Arsenal on a short-term loan deal from Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls.

"There was talk about him coming back last January and it didn't happen. But to me there are no negatives, it is similar to us and Paul Scholes," said Ferguson.

"He's still a great player and the players in the dressing room will be motivated to play with one of Arsenal's greats."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, is determined to see his side get back to winning ways after League defeats against Fulham and Swansea.

"We are really frustrated because we made the minimum of our last two games. We were twice leading and in the end we lost them both," he said.

"We play a big game, but another thing that is important is to come back to winning habits. We were on a very strong run before [those defeats], and we lost that run in a way that is difficult to accept because everything went against us in the two games.

"But we have to accept that and win our game on Sunday."

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Key Points

  • Man Utd travel to the Emirates Stadium for Sunday's clash with Arsenal
  • Sir Alex Ferguson says Gunners recovered well after the 8-2 defeat in August
  • Arsenal's Arsene Wenger wants his side to return to winning ways