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Attacking style wins United fans all over the world, says Sir Alex

January 01, 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester ­United’s cavalier style and goal-crazy season has seen their popularity soar around the world.

United’s 28 games in all ­competitions this term have yielded a staggering 105 goals, confirming their status as the great entertainers of world ­football.

The Reds are estimated to have a global fan-base of 333million, but Ferguson reckons the thrilling games they have served up this campaign have won them even more admirers around the world.

“We’re getting goals, there’s no doubt about that,” said the United manager, who celebrated his 71st birthday yesterday.

“The fans are enjoying it and in terms of a worldwide audience they’ll be turning their TVs on, whether they’re in America or Australia, to see another 4-3.

“I think you just get immune to it all as a manager. You only enjoy the high-scoring games when you come back to win them.”

But while the entertainment United have been providing has increased their worldwide appeal, Ferguson (right) yearns for some solidity at the back to end the ­roller-coaster nature of their victories.

United’s ­clean sheet in ­Saturday’s 2-0 win over West Brom was their first for a month, and Ferguson has demanded more of the same from his players today at Wigan.

“If we stop giving away goals then we’ve got a great chance this season because we’ve got plenty of goals up front,” said the Scot. 

“We’re a team that goes forward. United are playing big games all the time because most opponents are motivated to play against us. 

“We’re always analysing teams. West Brom left out Peter Odemwingie, Shane Long and Graham Dorrans at QPR before their game against us. 

“It shows how important it is for clubs to get a result against us. So therefore all the games are intense, there’s always a lot of energy spent and when we go forward, there’s a lot of holes left. 

“And we’re getting punished for that more than ever. We’ve lost 28 goals in the Premier League already this season. 

“There was one season, when Peter Schmeichel was in goal, where we came to the last game of the season and we’d only lost 17 goals. 

“He lost a goal in that last game and he was going crazy. It was 18 goals in the whole season. We’ve lost 28 now and it’s only New Year.” 

Ferguson admitted United’s ­adventurous style of play, ­particularly at Old Trafford, invited teams to come out and attack them, rather than sit back and try to play for a draw. 

“We’ve encouraged that,” said the United boss. 

“Everyone that comes to Old Trafford thinks, ‘We can get a goal here’. The records tell you that. The only clean sheets we’ve had at home in the Premier League are against West Ham, Wigan and West Brom. 

“The second-half against Tottenham was probably the best performance of the season – how we failed to get that third goal I’ll never know... 

“But we got it back to 2-1 down and then they scored the third goal, as soon as we’d got our first. 

“We’ve been forced to up the ante all the time because we’re losing goals. We’re stretching ourselves all the time. In fairness to the players, they want to win. 

“And giving the goals away is forcing them to get their fingers out. 

“But, in fairness, we’ve been ­brilliant at it and the attacking play at the weekend against West Brom – as well as against Newcastle on Boxing Day – was fantastic.” 

Although United are still keen on signing Everton left-back Leighton Baines, that move seems unlikely in January, and Ferguson said he does not expect to make any additions to his squad. 

“If we get them all fit, you have to think we’ve got a good squad,” he added. “The issue is that we’ve had a few ­injuries but that’s why you need a big squad and ours is probably around 26.”


Source: DailyMirror


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