Belfast Telegraph

Ferguson single-minded about title win

Forget all the talk of records, Sir Alex Ferguson would be satisfied if Manchester United won the title with a deflection off someone's backside.

Speaking to a US radio station earlier this week, Ferguson suggested United's target for the remaining nine games was to match the Premier League points record of 95 amassed under Jose Mourinho in 2005. With a 15-point lead over nearest challengers Manchester City, it seemed prudent of Ferguson to find additional challenges beyond merely lifting a record 20th title.

Yet, ahead of Saturday's trip to Sunderland, the United boss dismissed his own lofty talk, and said: "I don't care what I win it by. It could be a dodgy goal off someone's backside in the last minute of the last game of the season. It doesn't bother me one bit. Winning the league is the issue."

As they prepare to visit the Stadium of Light for the first time since they stood by the side on the pitch, their own season over, to discover Sergio Aguero had sent City into ecstasy, Ferguson can have no complaints at how his players responded to that setback.

With just two draws and three defeats, United have been virtually foot-perfect, far too good for a City side who struggled to regain their previously high standards.

"These things are hard to take," said Ferguson.

"For about 20 seconds we thought we had won it and it was snatched away from us.

"But what we have done well this season is dusted ourselves down and made a real good challenge of the league.

"The concentration levels, the commitment of the players and the team spirit have been fantastic.

"In that respect we have answered the only way we can."

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