Alex Ferguson turns attention to Wolves clash


Click to follow
The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United will not be taking Wolves for granted on Sunday.

United head to Molineux knowing victory will take them four points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who are not in action again until they entertain resurgent Chelsea on Wednesday.

After that, City must go to Stoke, offering United even further reason to make up for their Europa League humbling by Athletic Bilbao by turning the screw in the championship battle.

On paper at least, the task is some way less than formidable.

Wolves have slumped into the bottom three on the back of a run that has seen them collect just 15 points from their last 25 Premier League games.

Sacking Mick McCarthy does not seem to have made much difference either as his replacement, Terry Connor, has collected a single point from his three games in charge, culminating in last weekend's dismal home defeat by Blackburn.

However, Ferguson will not be fooled.

His side were top of the table and unbeaten when they approached last season's corresponding fixture, and Wolves were bottom.

It was the home side who came out on top though, securing a result that helped maintain their top-flight status.

Virtually the same situation applies itself this weekend. And Ferguson is adopting an air of caution.

"We always take teams seriously," said the United boss.

"That is the one quality we have had for years and years. We don't take anything for granted.

"It is a year on but it is the same scenario.

"We were top of the league then, they were towards the bottom part. We have to perform."

It was hardly likely United would lose their focus, even if a place in the Europa League quarter-finals had been secured in Bilbao last night.

That it was not just brings greater clarity to a rather disjointed campaign that has brought far too many disappointments.

If United win the league, they will be landing a record 20th title. Should they fail, it will be their first barren campaign since 2005 and only their fourth since Ferguson secured the first of his multitude of trophies with the 1990 FA Cup.

"The defeat does give greater emphasis to Sunday's game," said Ferguson.

"It has always had its own importance. I don't think you can take away from that.

"But yes, it is better going into this game with a victory. We didn't get it and we definitely have to gather ourselves well before Sunday."