Fergie urges United not to take Norwich task lightly
ALEX FERGUSON resisted the urge to gloat, or to remind the world that two years ago he had decided Carlos Tevez was not worth the price, or the trouble. That may have been in his mind, but he limited his comments yesterday to offering his support to his managerial counterpart, "the most important man" at his local rivals.
"I think Roberto Mancini has come out showing his strength of character, his strength of management. That's important," said Ferguson. "There is nobody more important than the manager at a football club."
Though not remotely as dramatic, Ferguson has his own problems at the moment, notably a defence that conceded three goals at home to Basle in midweek and has only kept a trio of clean sheets in 11 matches this season.
"I think people will say our performance on Tuesday was careless and we underestimated our opponents. I think there is an element of truth about that," he said. "But that is the way we are playing at the moment -- with that cavalier attitude."
United, who lead the league on goal difference from City, are at home to Norwich City today, which would seem a straightforward. In the last five seasons United have won 14 of their 15 home matches against newly promoted teams, scoring 43 goals to 10.
Ferguson is keen to ensure his team do not "underestimate" another opponent. He said, "Norwich have had a terrific start. There seems to be a great sense of purpose about the place."
But the inequality of resources was exacerbated yesterday when Lambert lost James Vaughan until the New Year following a knee operation, while Ferguson welcomed back Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez after injury. (© Independent News Service)
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