Saturday, October 6, 2012

Foregin demands Man United show of defiance

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NEWCASTLE: Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded a show of defiance from his players as Manchester United look to get their Premier League title challenge back on track at Newcastle on Sunday.
United’s 3-0 defeat at St James’ Park last season put a severe dent in  Ferguson’s title ambitions and the Scot knows his side can’t afford a repeat  following last weekend’s surprise home loss against Tottenham.
Ferguson’s third-placed team are already four points behind Premier League  leaders Chelsea, who have a home fixture against struggling Norwich on  Saturday, and could go into the international break seven points off the top if  they stumble against Newcastle.
But Ferguson loves to defy the odds when critics start to write off United  and he called on his players to show their true colours on Tyneside.
“When you lose a game you have to recover,” Ferguson said. “We lost a game  to Tottenham, we have to recover again. It’s as simple as that.
“Hopefully we can get a result Sunday, but it won’t be easy.
“They will be buoyed up, the supporters are great up there. It will be a  hard game, no doubt about that, but hopefully we can navigate it.
“Of course it is always a difficult place to go and I think under (Alan)  Pardew they’ve become a really committed team.”    
Ferguson was full of praise for Magpies boss Pardew who was last week rewarded with an eight-year contract by Newcastle after their fifth-place finish last season.
“I think he’s done a great job, that’s obvious,” said Ferguson. “We all  know he wasn’t anybody’s choice up in Newcastle, now he’s everybody’s choice.
“He’s done it on the back of selling quite a few players at the time. 
Obviously they looked upon the financial position of some of the players and  decided to cut the costs and bring in players on much lower salaries and  they’re all performing.”    
United will recall Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes into the  squad after they all missed Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over Romanian  outfit CFR Cluj, while Jonny Evans should be fit to play despite coming off in  that game with a dead leg.
However, Pardew feels Newcastle are running into form at just the right  time ahead of United’s visit.
Despite a solid start to the season that sees them defeated only once in  their opening 11 games, Pardew has been critical of performance levels,  insisting they must improve.
An impressive 3-0 Europa League victory in midweek against French side  Bordeaux suggests Pardew’s message has got through.
“I’ve been critical in the dressing room of some of our performances so  far, but against Bordeaux we played with more verve and vision,” he said.
Pardew went against his early-season policy by playing several of his more  influential performers in the Europa League game.
But such was the ease with which victory was sealed, he is confident the  team he sends out less than 72 hours later will have the energy levels to repel  the threat posed by United.
“We didn’t have to work as hard as I thought we’d have to against Bordeaux,  so in terms of energy we should be fine against United,” he said.
“We wanted to show our fans we’re taking the competition seriously while  still keeping some key bodies fresh for Sunday and I think we’ve done that.”    Pardew is without injured defenders Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and  Ryan Taylor.
Former Manchester United full-back Danny Simpson makes his first Premier  League start for more than a month after recovering from a hamstring problem.
France midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa, top scorer Demba Ba and Italy defender  Davide Santon, who were all rested against Bordeaux, come back into the side. AFP


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