'We've played better but cup finals aren't easy'

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that Manchester United had been fortunate to win the Carling Cup – and said that his team owed their triumph to goalkeeper Ben Foster. "It wasn't an easy day for us," the United manager said after collecting the 32nd trophy of his reign at Old Trafford. "I think we've played better this season. But cup finals aren't easy. Tottenham were good opponents and probably had the better chances. Ben Foster had two or three excellent saves."

Ferguson agreed that United may have lost John O'Shea to a second yellow card – after a late tackle on Luka Modric – but raged against the caution for Cristiano Ronaldo who was accused by referee Chris Foy of diving to try to earn a second-half penalty.

"It's ridiculous," Ferguson said of the incident in which Ledley King appeared to stand on Ronaldo's foot. "I mean, it's a penalty kick. But I don't mind that. The referee has a decision to make, but to book him is too easy an option. He couldn't wait to book him quick enough because it's Ronaldo."

Ferguson said that, due to his experience and success, he would not be distracted by the possibility of United winning a quadruple this season. "The great advantage I have is that I won't get carried away with it," he said. "We'll keep our feet on the ground. It would be great to think we could do it, but my experience says we could go to Fulham next weekend and a deflected shot off someone's backside and we're out of the FA Cup."

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp claimed that United could win everything this season. "They've got a big chance of winning the lot," he said. "They're the team to beat, certainly, and have a fantastic squad. The league's going their way, for sure. You wouldn't bet against them to win the Champions League. It'll be the big four in the semi-finals of the FA Cup."

"I thought we were super. It was a great performance and it came down to a lottery in the end. We were not that confident with our penalty takers and you looked over there and they had very confident penalty takers.

"But overall they couldn't beat us in 90 minutes plus extra time so we didn't deserve to lose and I thought we were fantastic."