Fergie says Tott test vital to title mission
SIR ALEX FERGUSON claims Sunday’s trip to Spurs will be crucial to Man United’s title bid.
Man City again have the chance to extend their two-point advantage at the top with a home game against Bolton on Saturday.
United responded to City’s 3-0 victory over Blackburn last weekend by grinding out a 2-1 win at Norwich 24 hours later.
Spurs will be desperate for an impressive display to put their 5-2 derby mauling at Arsenal behind them.
But Fergie believes his squad is recovering from long-term injury worries at just the right time.
And he claims he’d be happy to travel to City at the end of April still two points adrift of their bitter rivals.
He said: “Tottenham is going to be a massive game. If we can survive that one, then we’ll have a big chance of winning the league.
“I would take it being two points behind going to City.
“I’d rather go there level on points, but if we could go there within striking distance of being top of the league, I’d take it.
“I should have more players available than I’ve had in the last few weeks because we’ve had a terrible spell of injuries.
“But we’ve done the right thing in the treatment of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. They’re young players and they had been carrying little strains for weeks.
“Then all of a sudden it hits them. We had to take stock – they’re fresh now.”
Much has been made of the nous of Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes counting in the run-in.
But Ferguson believes his younger players have the experience and desire to make a difference too. He added: “Wayne Rooney’s been with us for nearly eight years now and he’s won a few medals. He knows what it takes to win the title.”
United midfielder Tom Cleverley could return for the Europa League clash against Atletico Bilbao next week after recovering from an ankle problem.
The Reds will speak to UEFA in an attempt to force Bilbao to reduce their prices for next month’s return leg.
United should get 2,000 tickets for the tie on March 15. But they’ve been stunned to discover the Spaniards intend to charge £77.50 for a ticket.