Belfast Telegraph

Craig Cathcart tips Manchester United to regain title

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland star Craig Cathcart is convinced nothing will stop Manchester United from going on to claim a record breaking 19th league title.

And the 21-year-old defender, who started his career at Old Trafford, believes they may even go through the season unbeaten.

Cathcart and his Blackpool team-mates were close to pulling off a huge shock and ending United's undefeated run in the Premier League on Tuesday night at Bloomfield Road.

Ian Holloway's side led 2-0 with 72 minutes on the clock, having played some sensational football after the Ulsterman had broken the deadlock early on.

But showing the spirit and style that Sir Alex Ferguson's side have become renowned for down the years, United, inspired by half-time substitute Ryan Giggs, hit back to win 3-2 thanks to a Dimitar Berbatov brace and a fine finish from Javier Hernandez, who had replaced the out of sorts Wayne Rooney.

It's 23 league games and counting without defeat for the Red Devils, who now lead the title race by five points from Arsenal with Manchester City and champions Chelsea further back.

Cathcart's assessment is that Fergie's men will still be in top spot come May.

“They weren't at their best at our place in the first half, but you have seen them come back before and they did it again against us,” said Cathcart, who moved from United to Blackpool last summer.

“That's what makes them different and is why they have been so successful over the years. They are never beaten.

“I believe they will go on and win the league title now. I just can't see anyone stopping them. You look at their squad and it is so strong.

“They could go unbeaten throughout the season as well. I don't see why not. They have so much character and ability that it is in them to do it.

“We play them at Old Trafford on the final day of the season. If they still haven't lost by then it would be nice for us to have a crack at ending their run.”

Such a scenario looked on the cards on Tuesday, until Welsh wizard Giggs started to weave his magic.

As Blackpool continued to play in enterprising fashion, Giggs used his experience to exploit the spaces at the back.

“Going ahead early on gave us a lot of confidence and when we went 2-0 up and led by that scoreline at the break, we genuinely believed that we could get a third,” revealed Cathcart.

“We pushed on in the second half and could have had a penalty which might have made a big difference, but that decision went against us. Even when we were on top, everyone in our side knew United would have a good spell and that's what happened.

“They brought Giggs and Hernandez on and they proved to be the difference. Giggs changed the game. He played really well. For many years he has been a top player and he just keeps on doing it.”

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