United have not been out of all Cups in January since 1980-81 season


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The Independent Football

Park Ji-sung lamented Manchester United's exit from the FA Cup after their 2-1 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday, which means United have been knocked out of three cup competitions by the end of January for the first time in 31 years.

Sir Alex Ferguson's team crashed out of the Carling Cup to Crystal Palace in November and were consigned to the Europa League last month after their 2-1 defeat at Basle meant they finished third in the group stages, before rivals Liverpool's fourth-round victory at Anfield.

The last time United endured similar ignominy was in 1980-81, Dave Sexton's unhappy last season as manager. United were beaten by Coventry in the second round of the League Cup in September, defeated in the Uefa Cup first round by Polish side Widzew Lodz the following month, before losing 1-0 to Nottingham Forest in the fourth round of the FA Cup in January.

"Everyone is disappointed with the result. We played well and deserved to win. Everyone is quiet and angry," lamented Park, whose side lost to a late goal scored by Dirk Kuyt after Park had levelled Daniel Agger's opener for Liverpool.

"I was very happy when I scored the goal. It's 1-1 and I am always very happy when that happens against the big teams. [But] we lost concentration and we gave them the final ball for 2-1."

Park added, though, that the United players would not consume themselves with the defeat and instead focus on the Premier League visit of Stoke City tomorrow.

"We can quickly forget about this and think about the future and move on," said Park. "We have the Premier League and Europa League. We shouldn't mess up these two titles and just go on as Man United."

United cup woe 1980-81

League Cup, second round

Coventry (H) 0-1, first leg, 27 August

(A) 0-1, second leg, 2 Sept.


Uefa Cup, first round

Widzew Lodz (H) 1-1, first leg, 17 Sept (A) 0-0, second leg, 1 Oct


FA Cup, fourth round

Nottingham Forest (A) 0-1, 24 Jan