Friday 02 March 2012
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says taking on Tottenham Hotspur is one of the highlights of the season for his club.
United travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday for the eagerly-anticipated match that could have significant bearing on both clubs as they look to hunt down Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City.
United are currently in second place, only two points behind City, while Spurs are in third – eight points further adrift – after a superb season to date.
"Tottenham away is always a tremendous highlight for us, it's always an interesting game with the history of both clubs," said Ferguson, whose side defeated Norwich last time out.
"I think everyone at the club realises how important it is on Sunday to maintain our challenge"
- Sir Alex Ferguson
"It's a real football ground at Tottenham. I enjoy going there and I think the players do too.
"It's an old-fashioned football ground and Villa Park is much the same. It's a good pitch, it's always been a good pitch and the atmosphere is guaranteed to be good."
With the high-profile matches at the top of the table coming thick and fast, Ferguson was under no illusion as to how crucial the Tottenham contest could be.
"I think everyone at the club realises how important it is on Sunday to maintain our challenge," said Ferguson.
"We know Sunday is an important game for us. The most important game so far.
"Hopefully we can navigate it. I'm not interested in anyone else's [title challenge]. We need to win on Sunday."
Tottenham, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back after Sunday's 5-2 defeat at the hands of north London rivals Arsenal.
"We had a bad weekend last weekend but it was a one-off," said Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, whose side have not beaten United in any competition since 2001.
"Since the first two games of the season we have not really had a bad game, even though we have lost a couple.
"They are a top team, so are we, so it should be a great game"
- Harry Redknapp
"Last week was the first bad day that we have had but it happens. Everybody has those days. All the clubs have had them this year.
"We want Champions League football. We're in a great position still.
"You have got to be at your best if you're going to get a result against Manchester United. They have done fantastic again.
"But we've got a big chance, we have got a good team. They are a top team, so are we, so it should be a great game."
Redknapp is confident that winger Gareth Bale will be available for the match despite the Welshman suffering a hamstring problem in midweek while midfielder Scott Parker is suspended.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has recovered from a throat infection.