Ferguson: Man Utd ready for Stoke battle

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says they're prepared for a battle today against Stoke City.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says they're prepared for a battle today against Stoke City.

Ferguson does not feel Tony Pulis' side are as blatant in their tactics as Wimbledon were when the completed a meteoric rise through English football in the 1980s.

But, in Rory Delap's long throw-ins, the United boss does accept Stoke boast a weapon that is not easily avoided.

"I remember once playing a team that were very useful at corners and saying to mine own 'Don't give any corners away'. We gave one away in the first minute and they scored so I will forget that piece of advice," reflected Ferguson.

"It is impossible anyway. Every team gets throw-ins.

"It is not so much the throws themselves, it is the way Delap propels them. They are really flat, which makes them very difficult to defend."

Ferguson jokingly stated that as Stoke's smallest player was "six foot 15" United knew exactly what was coming their way.

But, unlike Wenger, he does give Potters boss Pulis plenty of credit for the work he has done at the Britannia Stadium.

And, having watched Stoke's victory over Arsenal a fortnight ago, Ferguson does not feel they are that bad.

"Stoke are an aggressive, competitive team," said Ferguson.

"Tony Pulis' sides have always been like that. It is true teams mirror their manager and Tony is very competitive. But they are not a dirty team.

"Some teams have that label but Stoke are not like that.

"I watched the highlights of their game against Arsenal. There were one or two tasty tackles but nothing over the top."

Have your say