Fergie says Tott test vi­tal to ti­tle mis­sion

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By GRA­HAM CHASE

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.

De­sire

“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.

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