Belfast Telegraph

Chica is not a cheat, insists Fergie

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insisted striker Javier Hernandez is no cheat after he was booked for diving in the stalemate at Newcastle.

The Mexican went to ground under Danny Simpson's late challenge and was booked by referee Lee Probert, who had earlier turned down a similar appeal from Magpies' frontman Peter Lovenkrands.

Ferguson was adamant the Barclays Premier League leaders should have been awarded a spot-kick and the chance to extend their advantage over second-placed Arsenal to nine points, and suggested officials should recognise the character of the players with whom they are dealing.

He said: “To book the player, he gets himself out of jail in people's eyes by doing that, and it's disappointing because he had an outstanding game, the referee.

“I thought he was one of the better ones I have seen this season to be honest with you; I thought he had a really good game.

“Know the players you are refereeing. You would think the preparations for referees should be the same as a manager — prepare yourself, know each player in each team.

“Chica is not that kind of player.”

Ferguson's frustration was perhaps understandable as he saw his side survive a positive start by Newcastle to dominate possession.

Home keeper Tim Krul made fine first-half saves from Hernandez and the returning Wayne Rooney, but the Dutchman was relieved to see Ryan Giggs twice fire wide from promising positions and Rooney miss the target with an injury-time header as Alan Pardew's men snatched a battling point.

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