Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United are in the right place at the right time to strike for Premier League glory, even though he accepts his side let the fans down in Europe.
Manchester City’s failure to win at Stoke on Saturday means a draw against Fulham at Old Trafford tonight will be enough for United to reclaim top spot.
Ferguson will be after a win though as he looks to turn the screw on City, who he feels may be starting to get affected by the pressure in the battle for major honours. “We are in the right place, at the right time and, most importantly, with the right players,” he said. “After weeks trailing in second place we got our noses in front and I am sure our players are ready to put the pressure on again.
“Our guys have been flogging away and perhaps wondering if they would ever catch up before we hit the finishing line. Well, we did and they are capable of going in front again as we battle it out with City. Neck and neck now and I’d say it was an ideal time to be up with the leaders with only nine matches to go.”
Despite City’s stuttering away form, it is going to take a high points total to secure a record 20th title. That United are in a position to achieve it is made all the more remarkable by the fact they were eliminated at an early stage from European competitions.
In a week when Chelsea take on a Benfica side who proved too good for United in the Champions League, they must also cope with the knowledge of being comprehensively outplayed in both legs of a Europa League last-16 tie by Athletic Bilbao.
“We accept we were well beaten and we have deserved the criticism that has come our way in Europe this season,” said Ferguson.
“I take my share of the criticism too with my selections.
“I took too many chances giving young players a run-out perhaps I asked too much of them. We always expect to qualify and with that in mind I perhaps pushed on too quickly in the Champions League.
“Long-term we might get the benefit, but not in the minds of our supporters, who want to see us win. I won’t take as many chances next season.”
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