Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We won't stop United, says Fulham boss

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has told United’s Premier League title rivals to be ‘realistic’ in their pursuit of the champions. Fergie’s charges face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday as they look to extend their four-point lead at the top of the pile and Hodgson has told the chasing pack not to expect too much from the Cottagers.

“Listen, we have to work very hard to win our games," said Hodgson. "I can't stand here and say at the moment that our team is on a par with Manchester United because everyone knows it isn't but we'll give it our best shot.

"We'll work very hard, but the Liverpools and the Chelseas who are chasing Manchester United can't really expect that much of Fulham and think we'll beat Manchester United for them. Those teams chasing must be realistic.

"The lead is still four points and Manchester United have a game in hand, which could stretch the lead to seven points, and seven points is a massive gap. I think everyone will realise the chance is slim."

United’s uncharacteristic slip-up on Saturday has given both Liverpool and Chelsea a glimmer of hope, but the Red Devils still have a game in hand on their rivals. United’s pursuit of their 12th consecutive league win came crashing down around them at Old Trafford as a penalty, a free-kick and two long balls provided Liverpool with a shock 4-1 win.

Nemanja Vidic, who has been outstanding all season, got caught out by Fernando Torres and Patrice Evra mistimed a tackle on Steven Gerrard as the visitors grabbed a half-time lead.
Vidic’s red card after a rugby tackle on Gerrard completed his miserable day and Fabio Aurelio fired in the free-kick before Andrea Dossena lobbed in a late fourth.

Fergie thought United were the better side, but I’m not so sure too many United fans agreed with that comment as Liverpool capitalised on numerous mistakes.

But you can be sure Ferguson’s men will respond with a good result at Fulham and prove Saturday was just a blip.