Boss wants ruthlessness
Sir Alex Ferguson was frustrated not to score more, but admitted some of Manchester United’s play was “fantastic” following Saturday’s 3-1 win over Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League.
The Reds dominated for much of the game at Old Trafford and held a comfortable lead midway through the second half thanks to goals from Robin van Persie, Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney, before Fraizer Campbell’s consolation strike forced a more competitive finale.
After the match, the boss lamented his side’s inability to build a more commanding lead but praised the Black Cats for resisting what had seemed an inevitable defeat, stating his opinion that Sunderland “won’t have any problems” and “have a reasonable team.”
“A lot of our football was fantastic and some of our interchange play was terrific,” Sir Alex told MUTV. “I don’t know if we relaxed when we went 3-0 up or if Sunderland got a grip of the game, but towards the end they played very well and could have scored two or three goals.
“Some of our play was fantastic and we should’ve scored more. Tom Cleverley’s goal was a marvellous piece of interchange play, a first time finish and a really superb goal which epitomised the way we were playing at that point. I’d no complaints for an hour and it was wonderful to watch.
“We don’t pick out Robin van Persie’s runs as well as we should – his movement is great and he kept them on the back foot. But Wayne could’ve scored three of four goals, he hit the bar and missed two or three chances in the first half. But he got one which is important as it keeps his run going.”
“Sunderland deserved a goal because they worked so hard for it. They had a lot of injuries in the second half, they’re a youngish team and they kept going. I don’t think they are going to have any problems, I see quite a reasonable team there.”
Tom Cleverley produced a fine performance at the Theatre of Dreams, particularly in the first half, when the youngster combined brilliantly with central midfield partner Michael Carrick to clip an excellent finish past Simon Mignolet and double United’s advantage on 19 minutes.
That combination is one that had previously impressed during last weekend’s Manchester derby triumph at the Etihad Stadium, earning both their starting places against the Black Cats on Saturday and as Sir Alex admits, the pair’s performances gives him another selection headache.
“Cleverley did very well in the derby and deserved his position. We have a lot of options in midfield with Anderson, who is injured at the moment, Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. People says we’re weak in midfield but these are very good players.
“Sometimes it gives me a problem with selecting the correct two but today (Saturday) was very simple though because Carrick and Cleverley deserved to play after last week.”