Early criticism has motivated Man Utd says Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson believes criticism directed at Manchester United earlier in the season has given the players more steely resolve.

The reigning Premier League champions were hammered pillar to post by neighbours Manchester City 6-1 in October and more recently have dropped out of the Champions League and Carling Cup and Ferguson feels the negative press that came with those results has motivated his men who are once again a genuine title threat.

"If you lose a derby game 6-1, get knocked out by a Championship team in the quarter-final of the Carling Cup, and lose to Basel , who are not a power in Europe, you can understand the criticism," he said.

"But in terms of the nature of the players we have and the kind of club we are, we have shown the resilience and determination to do something about it each time it has happened.

"That says a lot about the character of the team. We lose games in normal seasons. This season we have lost games that have been dramatic and a bit more emphatic in the sense of the impact it had on our chances of winning trophies.

"These were bad results for us but the character of the team has rescued us each time."

 

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