Ferguson holds his fire over Gunners' weakness

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson would not be persuaded to discuss the apparent psychological frailties which surfaced after Arsenal surrendered two points at Birmingham last weekend, most notably in an extraordinary outburst from William Gallas after the award of a late penalty to the home side. "I've got enough to concern myself with," Ferguson said as he prepared his team, who are three points off the title pace, for today's match at Fulham.

"I don't know all about the Arsenal players," he said. "I wouldn't like to lose a last-minute goal myself. It has an impact, I suppose, but you have to get over these things."

Asked if United's recent 4-1 FA Cup win against Arsenal would have an adverse effect on Arsène Wenger's side, he said: "You hope that's the case. You never know."

Ryan Giggs will miss the Fulham match thanks to a calf strain but Nemanja Vidic is fit. Ferguson seems to have some psychological challenges of his own to deal with as the striker Louis Saha returns from yet another injury.

"We try to do our best with him in terms of his physical preparation," said Ferguson. "But it's never got to the position where he lets his injury problems really get him down. He's come back time and time again."

Another Frenchman, the defender Patrice Evra, said of Saha: "In training he has been unbelievable. He looks sharp, strong and, most importantly, angry. You can see it in his eyes. He wants to do well."

Though Ferguson hopes his side's greater experience counts in the title race, he said the novelty of a Premier League challenge could also be a factor.

"Our experience comes from the team that won the league last season, which had some young players in it," he said. "And in the position we're in at the moment, with some other young players, it's still a test for us, a challenge for us."

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