Ferguson surprised by lead

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted his surprise at the size of Manchester United's lead at the top of the Premier League table going into the final nine games of the season.

Last Updated: 26/03/13 at 19:14 Post Comment

Sir Alex Ferguson: His team are 15 points clear at the top of the table

Sir Alex Ferguson: His team are 15 points clear at the top of the table

The United manager saw his team beaten to a 20th domestic title on goal difference by Manchester City last season and had expected the 2012/13 campaign to be just as close.

However, the title race has instead been one of the most one-sided for years, with Ferguson's side streaking 15 points clear of their city rivals.

Ferguson had also anticipated a challenge from Chelsea, after their heavy investment in new players last summer, as well as Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, but none of those have materialised.

Asked by Sirius XM if he had expected the gap to the chasers to be closer, the 71-year-old replied: "Absolutely. With Manchester City coming on to the scene in the last couple of years and Chelsea and Arsenal and Tottenham - teams that are vying for that top-four position - you would expect it would be really tight.

"After last season, what we said was, 'Let's make sure we don't lose on goal difference', because that's what happened last year.

"Of course, our goal difference has improved dramatically, but I never thought for a minute we would be 15 points clear at this stage of the season."

Despite having the title all but wrapped up, Ferguson remains keen for a strong finish to the season, starting with Saturday's lunchtime clash against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

He has even chartered private jets to get his players back from international duty as soon as possible.

"Every coach in the country is praying that their players come back fit; that is the first thing," he added.

"The fact that they have played last Friday and they have played tonight - we have a game at 12.30pm on Saturday away from home at Sunderland - so once I know later this evening how many minutes each player has played, I will start to think about my team for Saturday.

"I have to make sure I have some freshness in the team because we have Saturday lunchtime and then on Monday lunchtime we have Chelsea [in the FA Cup quarter-final replay], so it is a big ask for our squad and something that we really need to concentrate on and make sure we need to pick the right teams."

Target

Ferguson has an additional target of matching Chelsea's Premier League record points haul, which Jose Mourinho's Blues secured in 2005.

"The record is 95 points by Chelsea," he said.

"If we get to 95 points I would be absolutely delighted. That would be a fantastic season.

"And if we do get to that position, we have probably won the league."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

ll very well selling all midfield and strikers but unless we bring anyone in that is better than what we had then it will be a terrible transfer window in my view. Sorted out the defense but our midfield and striker options look very light.

bigo
Spurs Halfway To The Perfect Summer

L

ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

suarez_blind
Jose rues pitch and weather after defeat

I

t's wrong to be making a joke out of Bender's name at the expense of gay people. It's the kind of childish, uncivilised thing that Football365 would deride and ridicule if it was another media outlet saying. Why is there a need for jokes like this? Does it make your writers feel like men? F365 might suggest that I 'lighten up', but it is genuinely traumatic for people who have been oppressed all their lives to be the butt of jokes, and to be told...

anamsport
The Beeriod Gossip

Footer 365

Di Maria joining bigger club - Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva believes Angel Di Maria is joining a club in Paris Saint-Germain that are bigger than any apart from Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Wenger: 'Nothing happening' with Benzema

Arsene Wenger has dismissed speculation linking Arsenal with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

Lambert waiting to spill Liverpool beans

West Brom new boy Rickie Lambert says he has "a lot of feelings" about his time at Liverpool but is keeping his powder dry - for now.

Mail Box

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company