Ferguson expects Manchester United response

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The Independent Football

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is confident he will get the right reaction from his players when they travel to Wigan on Saturday.

The Barclays Premier League champions were on the wrong end of a shock 1-0 defeat by Burnley at Turf Moor yesterday.

Robbie Blake scored the only goal with a superb volley as United's ability to retain their title after selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m was again called into question.

Ferguson, though, believes they will bounce back, saying: "I am sure we will get a response at Wigan.

"The players are all disappointed. It was a bad result for us. It was a good passing pitch and we should have done better."

Burnley must wait until Sunday for their chance to build on their stunning win, when Everton are the visitors to Turf Moor.

An opening-day defeat by Stoke only added to many pundits' belief Burnley were doomed from the start, and boss Owen Coyle knows they still have a long road ahead of them.

"One or two have already written us off," the Scot said. "I am not surprised about that. When you look at the financial side, we will have to produce every week.

"Now we have a massive game on Sunday against Everton, although whatever happens we are three points better off than we were at this stage in the Championship last season."

Everton's week has again been dominated by the future of Joleon Lescott, with the Manchester City target dropped for the Toffees' Europa League opener and made to train by himself.

Manager David Moyes said: "This is a gamble. Joleon's attitude has not been right these past days, he has disappointed me and he has disappointed his team-mates. He is not in the right frame of mind."

Tottenham and Chelsea currently top the table as the only teams with two wins, and they are both in action on Sunday, at West Ham and Fulham respectively.

Former Hammer Jermain Defoe netted a hat-trick in Spurs' 5-1 win at Hull, and boss Harry Redknapp believes the England forward is at the height of his powers.

"Defoe looked almost unplayable, his form is absolutely electric," said Redknapp. "He looks stronger than I have ever seen him and I have known him since he was 14."

Arsenal will look to build on their 6-1 win over Everton last weekend when they take on pointless Portsmouth.

The Gunners also have one foot in the Champions League group stage after a 2-0 play-off win over Celtic at Parkhead on Tuesday.

For their opponents, the priority is to complete the sale of the club after it emerged yesterday a new consortium led by chief executive officer Peter Storrie is bidding to buy the Fratton Park outfit.

Boss Paul Hart said: "We're all keeping our fingers crossed that there might be a successful takeover bid. I think it is imminent. I think we need to get this sorted out. That is pretty obvious for everyone."

In other matches on Saturday, Birmingham host Stoke, Bolton visit Hull, Wolves travel to Manchester City and Sunderland meet Blackburn, while on Monday Liverpool face Aston Villa at Anfield.

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