Alex Ferguson determined to win FA Cup

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he felt "sick" for days after suffering his first FA Cup third-round exit 12 months ago.

Through all the trials and tribulations of his 24 years at Manchester United, Ferguson had never fallen at the first hurdle in his quest to win the game's oldest cup competition.

That statistic was wiped away by Leeds United, who belied their League One status to triumph at Old Trafford thanks to a Jermaine Beckford goal that sent 9,000 travelling fans wild with glee.

The joy was matched by Ferguson's despair. And contrary to those who think the Scot is too pre-occupied with the Premier League and Champions League to waste much energy on a tournament he has already won on five occasions, he has no intention of suffering such agony again.

"It is the first time I had lost a third round tie since I came to the club and it didn't sit well with me," said Ferguson.

"I did not enjoy it and was sick for a few days afterwards.

"I made a mistake picking the wrong team last year. Hopefully I don't pick the wrong one this time."

The perception of Ferguson having an uncaring attitude towards the FA Cup has been built around United's controversial withdrawal in 2000 to compete in the World Club Championship, which proved to be the forerunner for the current Club World Cup.

Although United suffered most of the negativity, the move was actually a political one, designed to assist in the first of two ill-fated World Cup bids.

Clearly, from his words, the competition did not have much resonance for Ferguson, whose side bowed out in the opening group stage.

The spin-off was the heat of Brazil at a time when the temperatures were freezing back home, and title rivals Arsenal and Leeds were imploding.

"I don't think that is true," said Ferguson, when challenged about the perception United don't care about the FA Cup.

"That has come about because of the year we went to Brazil for that tournament, I don't even know what they called it.

"There were teams from all over the place; Australia, Africa. I don't know what it was called but it was a great holiday.

"I really enjoyed it. We were away for three weeks and Leeds and Arsenal did not win a game between them."

These words cannot be greeted with any comfort by Liverpool, whose season is spiralling downhill dramatically.

Ferguson's personal friendship with Roy Hodgson presumably led to his decision not to comment on the turbulence at Anfield, whose record 18 league titles looks set to be claimed by the Red Devils at the end of the season.

Instead, the United boss is concentrating on ensuring his side prove worthy of their status as overwhelming favourites, which in turn would propel the Merseyside giants into another bout of naval gazing.

"It is a cup tie," he said.

"On this occasion, you have to forget the other side of it, the Manchester United against Liverpool side.

"There are shocks in cup ties and always have been; Hereford beating Newcastle, Yeovil Town, York City. Bournemouth beat United in 1984. It is a tournament you cannot take for granted."

Ferguson does not intend to, which is why he will check on the fitness of Wayne Rooney and Edwin van der Sar, who has missed two games with a bout of flu, before he finalises his line-up.

It appeared Rooney would be condemned to spend a spell on the sidelines when he limped off with an ankle injury at West Brom on New Year's Day.

However, the England forward startled many observers when he made his way back onto the field as United had already been reduced to 10 men.

That decision cost Rooney a chance to figure in Tuesday's win over Stoke.

But the 25-year-old has returned to training and could be in contention to face the team he, as a lifelong Everton fan, has always disliked.

"If it had been serious Wayne would not have come back on last week," said Ferguson.

"Maybe it was not the right thing to do in terms of getting him ready for Tuesday's game. But he started work yesterday and we just hope that he will be all right for Sunday."

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape