Ferguson wary of the Rafa effect

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The Independent Football

Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson maintains he never felt the title race was over, despite his team leading by eight points last week.

Ferguson's side saw their advantage cut back when they were beaten 1-0 by Wigan at the same time as City were beating West Bromwich 4-0. In a quarter of a century in charge, he has endured many such moments, with a 4-1 defeat to Rafael Benitez's Liverpool in March 2009 still fresh in the memory. But he can take heart from the fact that his team have only lost two in a row after the start of April on three occasions since they won the title in 1993.

"I don't have any doubts about their temperament," he said. "I think there's enough experience in the place. It happens and we're aware of that. Two or three years ago Liverpool beat us 4-1 at Old Trafford, remember? And that genius Benitez said that they planned to beat us by playing long balls behind us."