Ferguson: 'Five minutes injury time was a lot'

Damian Spellman

Alex Ferguson has backed his Manchester United players to bounce back from the agony of seeing the Premier League title wrenched from their grasp.

For a few fleeting seconds, United thought they had pipped derby rivals City when the final whistle at Sunderland confirmed a 1-0 victory with Roberto Mancini's men drawing 2-2 at home to 10-man QPR.

However, the roar from the Sunderland fans then left them in little doubt as to what happened at the Etihad Stadium as City claimed a last-gasp winner.

But while Ferguson was understandably disappointed after a dramatic end to the season, he vowed his team would learn from the experience.

He said: "We conducted ourselves in the right way.

"It was a good level of performance and I have absolutely no recriminations about our season at all. When you have got a certain character and a good purpose about you, then you shouldn't fear the future and I don't think these lads will. That's how the players are."

United did all they could in the pursuit of a 20th title as Wayne Rooney's 20th-minute header, his 35th goal of the season, eased them past Sunderland.

But the decisive intervention was to come on the other side of the Pennines as Sergio Aguero struck at the death.


Ferguson said: "I said to (assistant) Mick Phelan before the game that if they (City) equalise late on, I think we'll be in trouble because of the impetus of scoring late on.

"Five minutes injury time seemed a lot -- I don't know the circumstances of it -- but QPR played with 10 men.

"That was probably a killer for them, having to play with 10 men for such a long period of time.

"At the end of the day, we have lost the league and there is nothing we can do.

"We congratulate Manchester City.

"Anyone who wins the league deserves to win it because it's a very, very difficult league to win."