Ferguson steps up treble quest

Sir Alex Ferguson has urged his Manchester United players to step on the gas in their quest for the treble.

Last Updated: 18/02/13 at 21:25 Post Comment

Ferguson: Eyes trophy haul

Ferguson: Eyes trophy haul

Twelve points clear in the Premier League, and back home from Madrid with an encouraging draw from their Champions League first-leg meeting with Real, United's attentions switch to the FA Cup when they entertain Reading on Monday night.

With a quarter-final encounter against either Chelsea - and what a mouthwatering thought Ferguson facing his old rival Rafael Benitez is - or Middlesbrough already booked for the winners, the prospect of a repeat of that historic 1999 campaign is beginning to get clearer.

And whilst in public Ferguson is sticking to the mantra of one game at a game, behind closed doors he has left his players in no doubt what they are capable of.

"The manager has stressed that he expects to go to the end in all three competitions," said defender Chris Smalling.

"The FA Cup is notoriously unpredictable. Luton reached the fifth round this year, which shows that anything can happen so there is no point looking too far ahead.

"But our home form has been good and another victory can give us the impetus to kick on and get to another final."

United's last final appearance was in 2007, the first to be played at the new Wembley, when they were beaten in extra time by Chelsea.

It was one of a series of unpleasant recent experiences for the Red Devils in a competition they have won a record 11 times.

Ferguson has never forgotten how his side dominated Arsenal in 2005 but still got beaten in a penalty shoot-out, whilst Wembley appearances for semi-finals against Everton in 2009 and Manchester City two years later both ended in disappointment.

It means they have not won the competition since defeating Championship outfit Millwall in 2004, which came as a surprise to Smalling.

"I was quite shocked at how long it has been since United won the FA Cup," said Smalling.

"It is a massive competition and one we all look forward to.

"Before we played West Ham in the third round, the manager stressed how much we wanted to win this tournament.

"There are quite a lot of lads who haven't won it despite being here for quite a while."

In addition to Smalling, 14-goal striker Javier Hernandez is a likely starter.

Wide-men Ashley Young and Nani will also hope to be involved, whilst Tom Cleverley and Anderson should be chomping at the bit after also missing out on a starting berth at the Bernabeu.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

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

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

Footer 365

Everton duo John Stones and Kevin Mirallas picked up knocks on Sunday

Roberto Martinez has reminded Chelsea that Everton are a "big club with nine league titles" - and do not need to sell John Stones.

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Gunners win Community Shield

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea, with Arsene Wenger finally beating Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho blames pitch and weather after Arsenal beat Chelsea

Jose Mourinho was critical of the weather and the Wembley pitch after "the best team" Chelsea lost 1-0 to Arsenal in the Community Shield.

Mail Box

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...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

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