Etihad Stadium

Next Game

Man City v Liverpool

Monday, 25 August 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

Anfield

Last Game

Liverpool 2 - 1 Southampton

Sunday, 17 August 2014, 13:30

Barclays Prem

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

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

A

h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

ajsr1982
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

G

reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

ianonabeach
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

Footer 365

Transfer news: Juventus insist there is no truth in Arturo Vidal to Manchester United talk

Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta insists there's no substance to the talk linking Arturo Vidal to Man United.

Transfer news: AC Milan yet to receive an offer from Liverpool for Mario Balotelli

AC Milan insist they have not received an offer from Liverpool for their controversial striker Mario Balotelli.

Transfer news: Marco Reus said to have turned down move to Manchester United

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has told Onda Cero that Marco Reus rejected a move to Man Utd this summer.

Mail Box

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property