|Arsene Wenger’s team are a threat to United after having a season that can’t get much worse [GALLO/GETTY]|
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that despite a six point lead and only four games remaining it will not be easy for Manchester United to secure the English Premier League trophy this season.
Ahead of a difficult game at the Emirates against Arsenal on Sunday Ferguson conceded there’s likely to be plenty of drama ahead.
“Two months ago everyone was looking at these two games as league deciders. They probably are now,” said Ferguson to BBC Sport.
“If we get to the last home game [against Blackpool] needing to win it to win the league, I would be happy with that.”
Mind over matter
Although a number of challenges await Manchester United in both the Premier and Champions League, Ferguson believes the winning mentality he has ingrained in his players will play a vital role in their end-of-season charge for silverware.
“The club has fantastic profile, history and it’s got a good philosophy, the way they play the game.”
Manchester United have dominated English football over the past two decades and are recognised as a team who thrive under pressure.
“It’s a natural thing. The personality of the manager is the most important thing in the football club,” said the manager of the football club.
The Scot has a fully-fit squad to choose from after Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Fletcher returned from spells on the treatment table.
Ferguson is planning to make changes for Sunday’s game at the Emirates and Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Schalke 04 as he gears up for a potential title decider against Chelsea next weekend.
That could pave the way for Berbatov, the Premier League’s top scorer with 21 goals, to feature after often becoming a peripheral player with Mexican goal poacher Javier Hernandez preferred as a strike partner for Wayne Rooney.
“He’s trained all week… he’s available,” said Ferguson.
Evra so careful
Manchester United defender Patrice Evra is fearful of meeting an Arsenal team who have a lot to prove after their recent run of bad form.
Evra believes Arsene Wenger’s side will be determined to derail United’s progress towards the title with a victory that would help salvage some pride at the tail end of a bitterly disappointing campaign.
“You have to fear the wounded animal,” the French international said. “It is all or nothing for Arsenal so that is a danger.”
Saturday April 30
Blackburn v Bolton
Sunday May 1
Arsenal v Man United
“They will want to show they can still win the title.”
Arsenal have not beaten United in any competition since November 2008, and have lost their last two games against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in matches at the Emirates.
However, Evra has warned that United’s good recent record against Arsenal will count for little on Sunday.
“We have a good record at Arsenal but statistics can change so quickly.”
Wenger, who admits his team’s title challenge is over, acknowledged Evra’s comments that Arsenal were desperate to make a point.
“We are certainly wounded and now we need to bring out the animal on Sunday. It is important for our pride and our position in the table and for what we did this season.”
“There is more at stake on Sunday than just mathematics.”
Yes… there’s also a title at stake for Manchester United.