Next Game

Thailand All-Stars v Liverpool

Tuesday, 14 July 2015, 14:00

Friendly Match

Luis 'laden with controversy'

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Luis Suarez is a magnet for negative headlines as the Liverpool striker prepares to face Manchester United in Sunday's Sky Live showdown.

Last Updated: 13/01/13 at 14:37 Post Comment

Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker 'laden with controversy' according to Man

Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker 'laden with controversy' according to Man

Suarez refused to shake Patrice Evra's hand in the corresponding fixture last season after the Uruguayan had been suspended for racially abusing the United defender during the meeting at Anfield in October 2011.

Last weekend had Suarez splashed across the backpages again when the ball hit his hand en route to scoring Liverpool's decisive goal against Mansfield Town in the FA Cup.

"I didn't see the Mansfield game, so it's difficult to say if it was deliberate or not," said Ferguson. "But I think the lad is laden with controversy. I don't know if he enjoys it or not."

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is confident Suarez can cope with any abuse aimed at him at Old Trafford, saying: "His mental fitness is very strong.

"If anything he thrives on it and it gives him a greater motivation and I think everyone has seen that since he has been here."

And Ferguson is not surprised that Rodgers has leapt to Suarez's defence as the United boss can see elements of his own management style in that.

"You're always going to support your own player," he said. "That's not surprising from Brendan Rodgers. I've done it myself. It's part of your loyalty and protection of the player.

"I just hope we don't suffer from some of the decisions that went Suarez's way on Sunday."

Indeed, Ferguson wants the action to be concentrated on the pitch, rather than the obvious animosity between two sets of fans spill over as it has done in the past.

"We've got the two most successful clubs in the country and you hope it's a good game," he said.

"Over the years they've been relatively free from controversy. No sensational decisions have marred the game."

Yet, as Ferguson acknowledged, it is a fine balance, adding: "It is always an immensely important game. It is intense and emotional.

"Everything you can think of in a derby game will probably be there."

Liverpool are presently 21 points adrift of United, stuck in mid-table and a tough task ahead of them just to reclaim a place in the Champions League and, after the ill-fated second spell of Kenny Dalglish, Ferguson believes Rodgers needs the patience of owner John Henry.

"Patience is a real commodity in football and if Brendan's getting that then he's very lucky," said Ferguson.

"It's terrific if Liverpool fans are prepared to be patient because it's going to require it because it's a long way back to where they used to be.

"It is difficult to measure the Liverpool side of the moment against those teams of the past. For any young manager, it is going to be a challenge.

"They haven't won the league for more than 20 years. It's a long time for a club like Liverpool."

Manchester Utd v Liverpool is live on Sky Sports 1 this Sunday. For more details click here

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Copa America: Chile beat Argentina 4-1 on penalties

Hosts Chile won the Copa America for the first time thanks to a 4-1 penalty shoot-out success over Argentina after the final ended goalless.

Sergio Ramos has refused to discuss interest from Manchester United

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has raised further question marks over his future after a coy response concerning interest from Manchester United.

Van Persie 'agrees Fenerbahce terms'

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is close to joining Fenerbahce after reportedly agreeing terms with the Turkish club.

Mail Box

Has Everyone Forgotten About Khedira?

Sami Khedira is one of the signings of the summer and yet he's flown completely under the radar. Plus Dommy S's views of women's football get a right old shoeing...

Women's Success Won't Alter Viewing Habits

The Women's World Cup hasn't inspired everyone. Also in the Mailbox: a plastic's guide to Brazil, Nani regrets, tears over Henry, and The Beach Boys...

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