Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Spurs a title threat - Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Tottenham are currently playing the best football in the Premier League.

Heading into the New Year programme, Spurs are seven points adrift of pacesetters Manchester City and Manchester United, although they do have a game in hand.

And with both City and United to play within a six-week spell from the end of January to the beginning of March, Ferguson believes the Londoners cannot be written out of the battle just yet, and said: "Tottenham can definitely win it."

He added: "They play the best football in the country and their current form is the best in the country."

By the time United visit White Hart Lane, Ferguson will hope to have some of his defenders back. But unless Phil Jones or Rio Ferdinand recover from an illness and a back injury respectively, the Red Devils will be forced to field a central defensive partnership of Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra against Blackburn on Saturday, with Antonio Valencia at right-back.

Ferguson said: "We can cope, especially in home games. Michael Carrick's form has been one of the key points in recent wins. He can pass the ball and has the height, pace and experience.

"It wasn't a problem for him against Wigan. He was flawless. Patrice also has the experience and the spring to head the ball. If that is the case then fine. We will get on with it.

"We are at home. We will have the majority of the ball. We have to make sure we are positive when we have it and do enough to win."

The one piece of good news for Ferguson is that Chris Smalling should be fit, either for Wednesday's trip to Newcastle or the FA Cup third round trip to Manchester City next Sunday after reports claiming the England man was set for an extended absence due to glandular fever were rejected by the United boss.

"Chris has tonsillitis," said Ferguson. "These reports about glandular fever are well off the mark. He had glandular fever when he was a kid. That is not the case here."

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