English Premiership

Fergie: Don't write United off

2014-01-24 21:15
Alex Ferguson (AFP)

London - Alex Ferguson insists under-fire Manchester United manager David Moyes can still salvage his side's season with a strong run in the second half of the campaign.

United have struggled badly since Ferguson retired at the end of last season after almost 27 years in charge at Old Trafford.

Ferguson hand-picked Moyes as his successor but the former Everton boss has so far failed to emulate his fellow Scot's triumphant reign.

United are languishing 14 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal and face a battle just to finish in the top four.

To make matters worse they have also crashed out of both the FA and League Cups.

Yet Ferguson says there is no limit to what United can achieve if they can turn on the style in the manner his teams so often did in the decisive final months of the season.

"United can do anything. They have got that great philosophy and history, they will always do well," Ferguson said.

"I can watch the team whenever I want and I've really enjoyed it. I'm going as a supporter now and instead of suffering with the team, I'm suffering or enjoying it with the fans. I'm really enjoying watching the team play."

There have been suggestions that Ferguson's regular presence in directors' boxes at United matches since his retirement may not be helping Moyes to settle in, given plenty of focus continues to be afforded to the 72-year-old Scot.

But Ferguson is holding out hope for a late United surge in one of the most wide-open Premier League title races in recent years.

"This year for the first time it really looks as if five or six could be involved (in the title race), so it's a great Premier League," Ferguson told Sky Sports News.

"It's still not an easy league to win. I think the English game is the most honest and is the hardest league to win in terms of the competition you face. You can lose to anyone.

"You have to say Manchester City are playing so well, there is no dispute about that, but the teams at the top at the minute must have a big chance.

"Arsenal must have a big chance. Everyone keeps writing them off, saying they won't last, but we're into the second half of the season and they are still there. Then you've got Chelsea, Everton, Tottenham, who are starting to do well.

"United always do well in the second half of the season, so we've got a fantastic league and we should be proud of that."

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Fixtures
16 August 2014
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 13:45
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Everton, King Power Stadium 16:00
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City, Loftus Road Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 18:30
17 August 2014
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 14:30
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 17:00
18 August 2014
Burnley v Chelsea, Turf Moor 21:00
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