Belfast Telegraph

Ferguson confident over United form

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he is happy with Manchester United's form despite his side's struggle to score goals and their defeat to lower-league Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup.

United have won three and drawn one of their Premier League games since the 6-1 drubbing by Manchester City but have not scored more than a single goal in the league since October 1. Moreover, Wayne Rooney, who started the season with a terrific scoring run, has not hit a league goal since mid-September.

However, Ferguson is adamant that United are in form, should have beaten Newcastle last weekend, and that a trip to Aston Villa on Saturday holds few fears - United have lost only twice in 19 visits to Villa Park since the Premier League started. He said: "Our form last Saturday was excellent, we played as well as we have played all season."

Ferguson added: "We needed that little bit of luck around about the goalmouth - that would have made it a good result as Newcastle have been playing really well. We made so many chances we really should have won the game comfortably so I have no problems with that.

"We have a good record at Villa Park - it's no coincidence that our best records away from home are at Villa Park and Tottenham. To me they represent real football grounds, the atmosphere is good, the crowds are close to the touchline and we have done well down there.

"But every time we have had to play well down there to win, you can't just depend on your past record."

Saturday marks Ashley Young's first return to Villa Park since his move in the summer and Ferguson said he had been delighted with how quickly the 26-year-old had settled in.

He added: "He started off really well and that does not always happen when a player joins Manchester United. We are pleased with that.

"He has done well, he has been a great signing for us and has integrated really well into the squad."

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