Ferguson had tried to exploit a little-known law in the competitions guidelines to make sure the game to be settle in one match.
Sir Alex was so desperate to avoid adding more United's matches to fixture list that he had tried to instigate talks with Tottenham about taking advantage of the Football Association's Rule 11a, which stipulates that a game can go into extra-time rather than replays providing the clubs agree in advance.
Alex Ferguson had intended to make a personal request to Harry Redknapp on the basis that Tottenham, like United, are in the midst of a fixture pile-up because of their involvement in 4-competitions. Redknapp has admitted that he will play his weakest team at Old Trafford, because of Tuesday's league game against Stoke City in mind, but he made it clear he would have rejected Ferguson's approach. "I wouldn't try to change the traditions of the FA Cup," he said.
The demands of Manchester United's matches have contributed to losing up a dozen of players through injuries. His defence is particularly affected with Darren Fletcher in line up in case of Gary Neville is unavailable and Fabio Da Silva could make his debut at left-back.
An FA spokesman said: "Replays are a significant part in the fabric and tradition of the FA Cup."
Source: The Guardian.co.uk
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