Ferguson: Injuries make treble harder than in 1999

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted it will be far harder for Manchester United to land the treble this season than it was in 1999. United still have the chance to emulate their historic achievements of 12 seasons ago, even though they must overcome Chelsea in the Champions League, Manchester City in the FA Cup and stay top of the Premier League.

But it is not Ferguson's opponents that bother him so much as the mounting injuries he is having to contend with. "It is going to be more difficult than it was in 1999," he said. "We didn't have the injuries we do now. There is a great desire to do it but we have so many injuries to defenders at present. We will never give in, though. No matter what happens, you always feel Manchester United will score in the last minute. We must have a chance but it is more difficult than it has ever been."

Ferguson was speaking at a press conference to announce United's game with the MLS All-Stars team at the Red Bull Arena on 27 July, part of a five-match US tour that will conclude in Washington three days later with the Red Devils to face Barcelona.

A meeting with Pep Guardiola's men in the Champions League this season is something Ferguson would relish. "Hopefully, they have reached their peak already," he added. "They are an example to everyone of how to play football. Xavi and Andres Iniesta show so much courage to always want to take the ball and they have the little magician Lionel Messi up front, who is wonderful to watch. People say they don't want to play against them. It is a privilege. It is the kind of challenge you want."

Ferguson has criticised the staging of both FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, and predicted "absolute chaos" over the semi-final weekend next month. All four teams left are from the North-west: Ferguson's Manchester United, Manchester City, Stoke City and Bolton Wanderers. He said this caused logistical difficulties and that the matches should not be held in London.

United will play Manchester rivals City at Wembley on 16 April, while Bolton play Stoke there the following day. Liverpool also go to Arsenal on the same afternoon as the second semi-final, while the London Marathon takes place the same day.

"Just think about this one issue," Ferguson told Inside United, "which is important: there'll be 60,000 people coming down from Manchester – you think about how much petrol is used for that. This is one issue alone. Think of the amount of people from the North-west driving away down there. Stoke fans, Bolton fans, City fans, United fans – and on the same weekend Liverpool fans are travelling down [to play Arsenal]. And you've also got people coming down to see the London Marathon. It's going to be absolute chaos."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?