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Blues in Ferguson's sights as United eye top spot

sports Updated: Nov 01, 2009 17:46 IST

AFP
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Sir Alex Ferguson turned his attention to next weekend's clash with Chelsea after a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers left his champions two points behind the Premier League leaders.

United looked well below par before seeing off a stubborn Blackburn side at Old Trafford here on Saturday thanks to expert finishes from Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney.

But, as he has said repeatedly in recent weeks, Ferguson bristled at suggestions United are still struggling to find the form that has taken them to the last two European Champions' League finals and the last three Premier League titles.

As far as the veteran Scottish boss was concerned, United were on course.

"The good thing about this club is we're experienced enough to know how difficult it is to win this league," said Ferguson. "It's not going to be any different this year.

"We know mistakes are going to happen, we know you lose games you don't expect to lose but you go for the consistency and hope to carry on with that consistency. If we get to January and we're still in there then we will have a great chance."

United are currently battling with a number of injuries ahead of next weekend's meeting with Chelsea with Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand both ruled out of Tuesday's Champions League meeting with CSKA Moscow.

Nemanja Vidic also sat out the Blackburn match, leaving Ferguson fielding an unfamiliar pairing of Jonny Evans and Wes Brown in the heart of the defence.

"A lot was made about Ferdinand and Vidic being out today (Saturday)," said Ferguson. "But when you have Wes Brown and Jonny Evans as back-up, you're not doing bad.

"If you take Ferdinand and Vidic out, then there are not many better pairings in the Premier League than Evans and Brown."

Victory might have been more comfortable for United but there was an astonishing miss from French winger Gabriel Obertan, who had his first taste of Premier League football as a second-half substitute and marked the occasion by missing the target from six yards.

"Young Gabby was a bit nervous when he came on," said Ferguson. "It's only his second game in seven or eight months so you've got to put that in its proper perspective.

"But towards the end he started to settle down and did very well. He's not happy with himself for that miss so that's a good sign."

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce, meanwhile, claimed his team should have been awarded a 91st minute goal that was ruled out by the linesman for offside, after substitute Nikola Kalinic converted a saved Benni McCarthy shot.

Replays did prove Kalinic was in an onside position when the initial strike was made, much to Allardyce's annoyance.

"With four minutes to go, we popped up with a goal that could have changed the whole course of the game," he said. "If you look at the replay, he is so onside that it's incredible the linesman can get it wrong.

"I'm not saying we would have got anything from the game but it would have changed the last four minutes of injury-time. It only takes a second to score a goal and Manchester United might have panicked a little bit, who knows?

"That's the disappointment after all the hard work we put in. Yes, United deserved to win but that was the disappointing thing at the end.

"People can say 'Sam's moaning again' but I like to moan when I know I'm right. Anybody can give me as much stick as they want but I am right."