Belfast Telegraph

McCarthy backs Fergie

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has backed Sir Alex Ferguson to haul Manchester United out of the mire after watching his side suffer a 4-1 defeat to the Barclays Premier League champions at Old Trafford.

Dumped out of the Champions League in midweek and with skipper Nemanja Vidic ruled out for the rest of the season through injury, United are on the ropes.But with Nani and Wayne Rooney both bagging their first league goals since September, they were able to record a win that closed the gap on leaders Manchester City to two points.

"I don't look at Manchester United in a different way," said McCarthy. "I can't remember when Manchester United, at Old Trafford, was an easy task."

He added: "All the hype and talk about their demise is nonsense.

"They have had a tough couple of results. They have been knocked out of the Champions League. But they will get back again because they have got really good players and a whole load of young players, who are developing."

Ferguson has made a point of stressing he retains total confidence in his squad.

And with Rooney in particular back on the scoresheet again, taking his tally to 11, having scored nine in his first six games, the United boss can talk optimistically about what lies ahead.

"Wayne in particular, does go in spurts," he said. "He scored nine in the early part of the season. Now we are going up to an important part of the season, if we get the goal ratio again, it puts us in good fettle."

Ferguson was delighted with the response of his players, arguing that for some, the shattering Champions League experience will turn out to be a positive.

"We will take a lot of stick from critics and even from people we thought were perhaps on our side," he said. "This was the right response. Some of the football was fantastic."

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