Ferguson wants chaotic title finale

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The Independent Online

Manchester United have enjoyed a smooth build-up to the biggest weekend of the season but Sir Alex Ferguson wishes it had been more chaotic.

United visit Sunderland on Sunday knowing that by kick-off they will have a good idea about their chances of winning a record fourth successive league title.

Barely 30 minutes before the Red Devils get under way at the Stadium of Light, Chelsea will have finished against Liverpool at Anfield, with most observers feeling victory for Carlo Ancelotti's men will be a championship clincher given the Blues complete their season at home to Wigan seven days later.

Ferguson has had plenty of time to play, with Wayne Rooney keen to return from a groin injury and Rio Ferdinand set for a recall after a similar problem.

Training has been tailored to suit too, so there will be no excuses if United are offered the chance to go top with one game to go and fail.

Yet deep down, the United boss wishes he had spent Monday flying to France and Wednesday coming home again.

Watching Bayern Munich advance to the Champions League final at Lyon's expense so easily could have only made him squirm given how close Ferguson's men were to dumping the Germans out in the last round.

And, whilst it would have given him a selection headache, Ferguson wishes this week had been rather busier than it turned out.

"It has been absolute agony watching the matches," he told MUTV.

"But that is what happens when you are not in it. You have to watch it on TV.

"Undoubtedly not being in the Champions League helps our preparation for the weekend but I know what I would rather have.

"The ordeals of playing on a Wednesday and then a Saturday are exactly what you want here. We have got to have it."

Instead United only have the league to focus on now, at least knowing with the Carling Cup already won, there will be some silverware in the cabinet this summer.

Yet that Wembley win over Aston Villa will be regarded as scant reward for the effort Ferguson's team have put in this season.

Midfielder Darren Fletcher is acutely aware of the favour United now require off their oldest and most fierce rival on Merseyside this weekend.

But the Scotland star still believes.

"I really do," he stressed.

"We are relying on a favour from another team, which is not the best position to be in, but we are coming into form.

"We had that week where things didn't go well, against Blackburn and Bayern, and there was a real low in the squad.

"But we had to pick ourselves up. There was a conscious effort around the place not to feel sorry for ourselves. We couldn't afford.

"We needed to put some pressure on Chelsea, which is what we have done."

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