English League 1

Johnson can sense big things

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 20:27:00

Sir Alex Ferguson felt Manchester United deserved all three points following a narrow 1-0 victory at Fulham.

Wayne Rooney scored another late winner to put the Premier League leaders 10 points clear for 24 hours at least and Ferguson paid tribute to the defence, who have conceded just 16 goals in 12 away games this season.

"We had so many chances. It was a terrific football match and it was an excellent result, and I'm very pleased for us," said the Scot.

"They had some great chances. Our keeper (David De Gea), Jonny (Evans), Rio (Ferdinand) were terrific and we had a few chances ourselves, the second half in particular.

"In the first half we hit the woodwork three times but we deserved to win. They have had a great home record over the years and it is a very important result for us.

"It's a good position (we are in) we are pleased. Tonight you can look at the performance of the players. They put their bodies on the line, blocking shots, great headers out of defence, really determined effort by the players.

"It was similar to when we played here a few years ago when Cristiano scored near the end and we went on to have an undefeated run after that. It was around the same time too.

"It was a well-taken goal and Rooney was unlucky before that, hitting the post and having a couple of shots saved by the goalkeeper."

De Gea has come under fire after some uncertain performances this season, but Ferguson was quick to single him out for praise.

"It's not fazed him, for sure," Ferguson said of the recent criticism. "He enjoyed this game. It's a challenge and it's not easy for a young goalkeeper, but he's enjoyed tonight."

Goals from Paddy Madden, Ed Upson and Dan Burn secured the Glovers' fifth straight league victory - and condemned the visitors to only their second league defeat in 16 matches.

Johnson hailed his side after building on Tuesday's win over fellow play-off rivals MK Dons in perfect fashion.

He said: "It was a very important win over a very good side. They are above us in the table and we needed to pull them back towards us.

"It's a great victory and this team seems to be getting better and stronger. The more wins you get on the trot the more confident the lads become in showing no fear, which Ed showed when he struck the ball from 30 yards.

"To get it out of that surface was unbelievable - you'd think he would have needed a sand wedge or something. As soon as he hit it we knew it was on its way.

"The nice thing is that our supporters have now started to believe that we are up there in the mix for the play-offs.

"Every game we go into, I am confident in this group of lads and know they're going to compete and show the desire needed to be in the mix.

"I feel we are on the verge of something special. I've been saying it for a while - so I'm either a witch or a good judge."

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