Belfast Telegraph

Berbatov hails Manchester United spirit

Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has said he was always confident his side would come back to beat Blackpool at Bloomfield Road tonight.

United appeared to be heading for their first Barclays Premier League defeat of the season when goals from former Red Devil Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell sent them into half-time 2-0 down.

The visitors left it late but a double from Berbatov and one from substitute Javier Hernandez ensured a trademark United comeback denied Blackpool a famous win.

Asked if he was confident of getting three points when they were in such a perilous position, Berbatov told ESPN: "Yes because we're always confident that if we can score one we can score more and that was the case today.

"We fight like a team. In the second half we showed spirit and we won."

Berbatov added: "You come here, it's not a friendly ground. The pitch is not as ours back home at Old Trafford.

"Blackpool played a very good game and scored goals, they could easily have scored more in the first half.

"In the end it was the team spirit that won the game."

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with his side's fighting spirit after a "terrible" first-half display.

"They just never give in," he told ESPN. "In the first half we were battered. We couldn't handle Charlie Adam. We were terrible.

"I don't know the reason for the first half. We were all over the place. Maybe we were too confident.

"We changed at half-time, Ryan Giggs made a tremendous difference. We started to penetrate and I think we were deserved winners in the end."

Ferguson knows not to write his side off having seen countless similar comebacks in the past.

"I know the game's never done in situations like today," he said. "You know at some point we're going to do something.

"You'll get games like tonight. Maybe sometimes we won't come back but we'll always try to come back."

Ferguson reserved special praise for goalscorers Hernandez and Berbatov.

Of Hernandez, he said: "His pace and timing of the runs is fantastic. He's so good at that. He could have scored four goals. He's made a tremendous impact."

And of Berbatov he added: "He's having a great season. He has great talent. The third goal, the composure, I was screaming for him to square it to Chicharito but, no, he has the confidence and ability to do what he did."

There was a late scare for United as Rafael was taken off on a stretcher, leading to 10 minutes of stoppage time.

"He's gone to hospital," said Ferguson. "We just hope he's okay. He's got concussion, we know that, we just hope everything else is okay."

Ferguson admitted he was impressed by Adam, saying "his corners alone" were worth £10million.

Holloway, who has rejected a number of bids for his star player, told ESPN: "When these people see how good he is. We've got 16 games left, I hope he'll be with us. I think he deserves to play at that level, with them. I honestly haven't seen better."

Holloway took the opportunity to have a dig at Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier, who has made no secret of his admiration of Adam.

He said: "I would like to thank (Liverpool boss) Kenny Dalglish for not talking about it. That's the way to do it, Mr Houllier. I don't talk about any of your players until I own them.

"I'm not picking on them. Who am I do that? I come from Bristol. He's Mr Houllier.

"(Adam) is looking outstanding. He's shining so much I believe someone will take him but I hope it's in the summer because I want him to keep us up."

On tonight's match he said: "I'm sure when I watch that game again I'll be reflecting on some brilliant play from my boys, how they matched the trying-to-be champions.

"I'm really disappointed for my lads. I would have paid to watch them myself.

"We were miles away from Chelsea when we played them, we were miles away from Arsenal when we played them, but against Man United we weren't far away."

Blackpool had a penalty shout turned down when they were 2-0 up and Holloway said: "If that's not a penalty then dearie, dearie me. I think it's stonewall, but maybe I'm biased.

"The score tells you it would have been a draw but who knows what would have happened."

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