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Fergie urges referee to ignore Neville factor

gary neville

By Simon Stone and Paul Walker
ALEX FERGUSON has warned referee Howard Webb not to let the abuse directed towards Gary Neville affect his handling of today’s FA Cup clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

On his 31st birthday, Neville is certain to bear the brunt of the hatred from the home fans at Anfield, who view the England full-back as the epitome of the club they despise with a passion.

As a born and bred United fan, Neville has never made any secret of his dislike for Liverpool either and is still to face an FA improper conduct charge over his wild celebrations of Rio Ferdinand’s last-minute goal in the previous meeting between the sides.

Neville’s shirt-tugging antics will only guarantee an even hotter reception from the Kop than he would normally receive.

But, while Ferguson has no doubts over the ability of his long-serving star to shrug off the taunts, he is concerned about Webb’s ability to ignore it and ensure his decisions are based on the on-field action alone.

"It is obvious Gary is going to get stick," said Ferguson. "He has always got stick from the Liverpool fans and judging by some of the stuff I have been reading, he will do well to get out of there alive.

"It will be incessant and we expect that, but I don’t think it will affect Gary. It will probably just drive him on more than ever.

"But I do hope we don’t reach the stage where it starts affecting the referee’s performance.

Ferguson has already defended Neville’s actions, citing goal celebrations of Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler as evidence the United man is not on his own in reacting to moments of high excitement in a potentially inflammatory manner.

With 6,500 fans of their own making the short journey down the East Lancs Road, United will at least not be alone at Anfield.

And, according to Ferguson, the raw edge to the game will not rival the one he experienced as a player and a fan in Glasgow on the days when his beloved Rangers collide with Celtic.

"Our support will be up for it and the atmosphere will be different from when we normally go to Anfield," he said.

"But I still would not compare it to an Old Firm game - not in my time anyway."

Ryan Giggs could be handed a spot in central midfield, having trained all week after coming off at half-time in the win over Portsmouth last Saturday.

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar should also play after being replaced at a similar stage at Fratton Park after being troubled by a groin injury.

Once again, Ferguson will rely on a combination of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha and United’s other Anfield hate figure, Wayne Rooney, to supply the attacking threat.

Meanwhile Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Aldo Duscher claims he has been in contact with United over a possible move in the summer.

The Argentinian, whose tackle in a Champions League match left former United star David Beckham with a metatarsal injury in 2002, said: "It’s great that a club of this level is interested, but my mind is right now with Deportivo.

Rafael Benitez is not falling for Fergie’s bait and wants Liverpool fans to lay off Gary Neville and concentrate their energies on roaring the Anfield side to their first FA Cup victory over Manchester United for 85 years.

Benitez said: "I know our supporters are the best in the world and they are also clever. They know it is always better to support your own team and not become distracted by other things. It is better for everyone to focus on the game.

Benitez is aware Liverpool fans abusing Neville will only inspire the full-back and his team-mates.

"It will do more good to support our own players. We are only concerned with the game and the right atmosphere, we must set an example to children by avoiding doing such things.

Benitez is conscious of the fact he has not won a clash with United since becoming Liverpool manager, but the shocking statistic of how long it is since Liverpool beat their hated enemy in the FA Cup has come as a surprise to the Spaniard.

He said: "Every game we play against them is tough, it was in the league recently and now we are in a match in which anything can happen.

"I am pleased with our recent progress, I recall people were saying that we couldn’t beat the three top clubs but now we have beaten Arsenal and maybe this time we can beat Manchester United and continue in that way for the future.

 

Fergie urges referee to ignore Neville factor

gary neville

By Simon Stone and Paul Walker
ALEX FERGUSON has warned referee Howard Webb not to let the abuse directed towards Gary Neville affect his handling of today’s FA Cup clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

On his 31st birthday, Neville is certain to bear the brunt of the hatred from the home fans at Anfield, who view the England full-back as the epitome of the club they despise with a passion.

As a born and bred United fan, Neville has never made any secret of his dislike for Liverpool either and is still to face an FA improper conduct charge over his wild celebrations of Rio Ferdinand’s last-minute goal in the previous meeting between the sides.

Neville’s shirt-tugging antics will only guarantee an even hotter reception from the Kop than he would normally receive.

But, while Ferguson has no doubts over the ability of his long-serving star to shrug off the taunts, he is concerned about Webb’s ability to ignore it and ensure his decisions are based on the on-field action alone.

"It is obvious Gary is going to get stick," said Ferguson. "He has always got stick from the Liverpool fans and judging by some of the stuff I have been reading, he will do well to get out of there alive.

"It will be incessant and we expect that, but I don’t think it will affect Gary. It will probably just drive him on more than ever.

"But I do hope we don’t reach the stage where it starts affecting the referee’s performance.

Ferguson has already defended Neville’s actions, citing goal celebrations of Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler as evidence the United man is not on his own in reacting to moments of high excitement in a potentially inflammatory manner.

With 6,500 fans of their own making the short journey down the East Lancs Road, United will at least not be alone at Anfield.

And, according to Ferguson, the raw edge to the game will not rival the one he experienced as a player and a fan in Glasgow on the days when his beloved Rangers collide with Celtic.

"Our support will be up for it and the atmosphere will be different from when we normally go to Anfield," he said.

"But I still would not compare it to an Old Firm game - not in my time anyway."

Ryan Giggs could be handed a spot in central midfield, having trained all week after coming off at half-time in the win over Portsmouth last Saturday.

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar should also play after being replaced at a similar stage at Fratton Park after being troubled by a groin injury.

Once again, Ferguson will rely on a combination of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha and United’s other Anfield hate figure, Wayne Rooney, to supply the attacking threat.

Meanwhile Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Aldo Duscher claims he has been in contact with United over a possible move in the summer.

The Argentinian, whose tackle in a Champions League match left former United star David Beckham with a metatarsal injury in 2002, said: "It’s great that a club of this level is interested, but my mind is right now with Deportivo.

Rafael Benitez is not falling for Fergie’s bait and wants Liverpool fans to lay off Gary Neville and concentrate their energies on roaring the Anfield side to their first FA Cup victory over Manchester United for 85 years.

Benitez said: "I know our supporters are the best in the world and they are also clever. They know it is always better to support your own team and not become distracted by other things. It is better for everyone to focus on the game.

Benitez is aware Liverpool fans abusing Neville will only inspire the full-back and his team-mates.

"It will do more good to support our own players. We are only concerned with the game and the right atmosphere, we must set an example to children by avoiding doing such things.

Benitez is conscious of the fact he has not won a clash with United since becoming Liverpool manager, but the shocking statistic of how long it is since Liverpool beat their hated enemy in the FA Cup has come as a surprise to the Spaniard.

He said: "Every game we play against them is tough, it was in the league recently and now we are in a match in which anything can happen.

"I am pleased with our recent progress, I recall people were saying that we couldn’t beat the three top clubs but now we have beaten Arsenal and maybe this time we can beat Manchester United and continue in that way for the future.

 

Fergie urges referee to ignore Neville factor

gary neville

By Simon Stone and Paul Walker
ALEX FERGUSON has warned referee Howard Webb not to let the abuse directed towards Gary Neville affect his handling of today’s FA Cup clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

On his 31st birthday, Neville is certain to bear the brunt of the hatred from the home fans at Anfield, who view the England full-back as the epitome of the club they despise with a passion.

As a born and bred United fan, Neville has never made any secret of his dislike for Liverpool either and is still to face an FA improper conduct charge over his wild celebrations of Rio Ferdinand’s last-minute goal in the previous meeting between the sides.

Neville’s shirt-tugging antics will only guarantee an even hotter reception from the Kop than he would normally receive.

But, while Ferguson has no doubts over the ability of his long-serving star to shrug off the taunts, he is concerned about Webb’s ability to ignore it and ensure his decisions are based on the on-field action alone.

"It is obvious Gary is going to get stick," said Ferguson. "He has always got stick from the Liverpool fans and judging by some of the stuff I have been reading, he will do well to get out of there alive.

"It will be incessant and we expect that, but I don’t think it will affect Gary. It will probably just drive him on more than ever.

"But I do hope we don’t reach the stage where it starts affecting the referee’s performance.

Ferguson has already defended Neville’s actions, citing goal celebrations of Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler as evidence the United man is not on his own in reacting to moments of high excitement in a potentially inflammatory manner.

With 6,500 fans of their own making the short journey down the East Lancs Road, United will at least not be alone at Anfield.

And, according to Ferguson, the raw edge to the game will not rival the one he experienced as a player and a fan in Glasgow on the days when his beloved Rangers collide with Celtic.

"Our support will be up for it and the atmosphere will be different from when we normally go to Anfield," he said.

"But I still would not compare it to an Old Firm game - not in my time anyway."

Ryan Giggs could be handed a spot in central midfield, having trained all week after coming off at half-time in the win over Portsmouth last Saturday.

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar should also play after being replaced at a similar stage at Fratton Park after being troubled by a groin injury.

Once again, Ferguson will rely on a combination of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha and United’s other Anfield hate figure, Wayne Rooney, to supply the attacking threat.

Meanwhile Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Aldo Duscher claims he has been in contact with United over a possible move in the summer.

The Argentinian, whose tackle in a Champions League match left former United star David Beckham with a metatarsal injury in 2002, said: "It’s great that a club of this level is interested, but my mind is right now with Deportivo.

Rafael Benitez is not falling for Fergie’s bait and wants Liverpool fans to lay off Gary Neville and concentrate their energies on roaring the Anfield side to their first FA Cup victory over Manchester United for 85 years.

Benitez said: "I know our supporters are the best in the world and they are also clever. They know it is always better to support your own team and not become distracted by other things. It is better for everyone to focus on the game.

Benitez is aware Liverpool fans abusing Neville will only inspire the full-back and his team-mates.

"It will do more good to support our own players. We are only concerned with the game and the right atmosphere, we must set an example to children by avoiding doing such things.

Benitez is conscious of the fact he has not won a clash with United since becoming Liverpool manager, but the shocking statistic of how long it is since Liverpool beat their hated enemy in the FA Cup has come as a surprise to the Spaniard.

He said: "Every game we play against them is tough, it was in the league recently and now we are in a match in which anything can happen.

"I am pleased with our recent progress, I recall people were saying that we couldn’t beat the three top clubs but now we have beaten Arsenal and maybe this time we can beat Manchester United and continue in that way for the future.

 

Fergie urges referee to ignore Neville factor

gary neville

By Simon Stone and Paul Walker
ALEX FERGUSON has warned referee Howard Webb not to let the abuse directed towards Gary Neville affect his handling of today’s FA Cup clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

On his 31st birthday, Neville is certain to bear the brunt of the hatred from the home fans at Anfield, who view the England full-back as the epitome of the club they despise with a passion.

As a born and bred United fan, Neville has never made any secret of his dislike for Liverpool either and is still to face an FA improper conduct charge over his wild celebrations of Rio Ferdinand’s last-minute goal in the previous meeting between the sides.

Neville’s shirt-tugging antics will only guarantee an even hotter reception from the Kop than he would normally receive.

But, while Ferguson has no doubts over the ability of his long-serving star to shrug off the taunts, he is concerned about Webb’s ability to ignore it and ensure his decisions are based on the on-field action alone.

"It is obvious Gary is going to get stick," said Ferguson. "He has always got stick from the Liverpool fans and judging by some of the stuff I have been reading, he will do well to get out of there alive.

"It will be incessant and we expect that, but I don’t think it will affect Gary. It will probably just drive him on more than ever.

"But I do hope we don’t reach the stage where it starts affecting the referee’s performance.

Ferguson has already defended Neville’s actions, citing goal celebrations of Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler as evidence the United man is not on his own in reacting to moments of high excitement in a potentially inflammatory manner.

With 6,500 fans of their own making the short journey down the East Lancs Road, United will at least not be alone at Anfield.

And, according to Ferguson, the raw edge to the game will not rival the one he experienced as a player and a fan in Glasgow on the days when his beloved Rangers collide with Celtic.

"Our support will be up for it and the atmosphere will be different from when we normally go to Anfield," he said.

"But I still would not compare it to an Old Firm game - not in my time anyway."

Ryan Giggs could be handed a spot in central midfield, having trained all week after coming off at half-time in the win over Portsmouth last Saturday.

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar should also play after being replaced at a similar stage at Fratton Park after being troubled by a groin injury.

Once again, Ferguson will rely on a combination of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha and United’s other Anfield hate figure, Wayne Rooney, to supply the attacking threat.

Meanwhile Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Aldo Duscher claims he has been in contact with United over a possible move in the summer.

The Argentinian, whose tackle in a Champions League match left former United star David Beckham with a metatarsal injury in 2002, said: "It’s great that a club of this level is interested, but my mind is right now with Deportivo.

Rafael Benitez is not falling for Fergie’s bait and wants Liverpool fans to lay off Gary Neville and concentrate their energies on roaring the Anfield side to their first FA Cup victory over Manchester United for 85 years.

Benitez said: "I know our supporters are the best in the world and they are also clever. They know it is always better to support your own team and not become distracted by other things. It is better for everyone to focus on the game.

Benitez is aware Liverpool fans abusing Neville will only inspire the full-back and his team-mates.

"It will do more good to support our own players. We are only concerned with the game and the right atmosphere, we must set an example to children by avoiding doing such things.

Benitez is conscious of the fact he has not won a clash with United since becoming Liverpool manager, but the shocking statistic of how long it is since Liverpool beat their hated enemy in the FA Cup has come as a surprise to the Spaniard.

He said: "Every game we play against them is tough, it was in the league recently and now we are in a match in which anything can happen.

"I am pleased with our recent progress, I recall people were saying that we couldn’t beat the three top clubs but now we have beaten Arsenal and maybe this time we can beat Manchester United and continue in that way for the future.

 

Fergie urges referee to ignore Neville factor

gary neville

By Simon Stone and Paul Walker
ALEX FERGUSON has warned referee Howard Webb not to let the abuse directed towards Gary Neville affect his handling of today’s FA Cup clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

On his 31st birthday, Neville is certain to bear the brunt of the hatred from the home fans at Anfield, who view the England full-back as the epitome of the club they despise with a passion.

As a born and bred United fan, Neville has never made any secret of his dislike for Liverpool either and is still to face an FA improper conduct charge over his wild celebrations of Rio Ferdinand’s last-minute goal in the previous meeting between the sides.

Neville’s shirt-tugging antics will only guarantee an even hotter reception from the Kop than he would normally receive.

But, while Ferguson has no doubts over the ability of his long-serving star to shrug off the taunts, he is concerned about Webb’s ability to ignore it and ensure his decisions are based on the on-field action alone.

"It is obvious Gary is going to get stick," said Ferguson. "He has always got stick from the Liverpool fans and judging by some of the stuff I have been reading, he will do well to get out of there alive.

"It will be incessant and we expect that, but I don’t think it will affect Gary. It will probably just drive him on more than ever.

"But I do hope we don’t reach the stage where it starts affecting the referee’s performance.

Ferguson has already defended Neville’s actions, citing goal celebrations of Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler as evidence the United man is not on his own in reacting to moments of high excitement in a potentially inflammatory manner.

With 6,500 fans of their own making the short journey down the East Lancs Road, United will at least not be alone at Anfield.

And, according to Ferguson, the raw edge to the game will not rival the one he experienced as a player and a fan in Glasgow on the days when his beloved Rangers collide with Celtic.

"Our support will be up for it and the atmosphere will be different from when we normally go to Anfield," he said.

"But I still would not compare it to an Old Firm game - not in my time anyway."

Ryan Giggs could be handed a spot in central midfield, having trained all week after coming off at half-time in the win over Portsmouth last Saturday.

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar should also play after being replaced at a similar stage at Fratton Park after being troubled by a groin injury.

Once again, Ferguson will rely on a combination of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha and United’s other Anfield hate figure, Wayne Rooney, to supply the attacking threat.

Meanwhile Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Aldo Duscher claims he has been in contact with United over a possible move in the summer.

The Argentinian, whose tackle in a Champions League match left former United star David Beckham with a metatarsal injury in 2002, said: "It’s great that a club of this level is interested, but my mind is right now with Deportivo.

Rafael Benitez is not falling for Fergie’s bait and wants Liverpool fans to lay off Gary Neville and concentrate their energies on roaring the Anfield side to their first FA Cup victory over Manchester United for 85 years.

Benitez said: "I know our supporters are the best in the world and they are also clever. They know it is always better to support your own team and not become distracted by other things. It is better for everyone to focus on the game.

Benitez is aware Liverpool fans abusing Neville will only inspire the full-back and his team-mates.

"It will do more good to support our own players. We are only concerned with the game and the right atmosphere, we must set an example to children by avoiding doing such things.

Benitez is conscious of the fact he has not won a clash with United since becoming Liverpool manager, but the shocking statistic of how long it is since Liverpool beat their hated enemy in the FA Cup has come as a surprise to the Spaniard.

He said: "Every game we play against them is tough, it was in the league recently and now we are in a match in which anything can happen.

"I am pleased with our recent progress, I recall people were saying that we couldn’t beat the three top clubs but now we have beaten Arsenal and maybe this time we can beat Manchester United and continue in that way for the future.