Football: Ferguson stands by penalty-taker's `temperament'

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Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, conceded that he thought that the champions had missed their chance after Teddy Sheringham's penalty miss.

"It looked as if we would regret not doing more with all our possession when Teddy missed the penalty," said the United manager. "It gave Spurs a lifeline. But Teddy will still take the next penalty we get because it is important when you choose somebody to take one he has the temperament to keep on playing if he misses it.

"That's what Teddy did and thankfully we then got the break for Nicky Butt's goal and then the own goal just afterwards. I'm delighted because I thought we deserved it. We conceded 44 goals last season which was a bad record for us but I think we'll do better this time. We've got a big, strong squad and we are going to need it."

Sheringham admitted: "I was relieved when the goals went in. I was quite confident when I went up to take the penalty and although I sensed Ian Walker moving on the line he told me afterwards he went the wrong way.

"It is obvious you are going to get some reaction coming back to your old club - and Vega caught me with quite a whack in the first few minutes. I've got ice-packs on the side of my leg now and I'll have to see how it is tomorrow."