Robson backs Fergie over semis

Ferguson has made the point that with all four competing clubs

heading to London from the north west, fans are having to incur

unreasonable cost whilst both police and traffic services will be

stretched on the same weekend as the London Marathon is being held

and Arsenal play Liverpool in the Premier League. The Football

Association have held semi-finals at Wembley since 2008 as part of

the stadium’s revenue streams for repaying the huge cost of

construction. They also argue that with its 90,000 capacity, it is

the only suitable venue for the Manchester derby between United and

City on April 16 and the rare appearances of both Bolton and Stoke

at this stage of the competition mean the second game 24 hours

later will also be a sell-out. However, Robson, who skippered

United to three triumphs in the competition, disagrees. “Sir Alex

is right to point these things out because of everything that is

going on in London,” he said. “It will be a big problem for the

police and there will be traffic issues as well. “Maybe it would

have been better playing at Villa Park, just to take a little bit

of pressure away.” In addition, there is the sporting element, with

Robson believing the prize of reaching the final is diminished

because last four encounters have taken place at the same ground.

“I have always thought the final is the one that is played at

Wembley,” he said. “The rest should be at a neutral ground. That is

the prize for getting to the final.” Robson was speaking at the

Soccerex Conference, which opened today in Manchester. It was a

welcome appearance from the former England skipper, who was forced

to have an operation to remove a cancerous tumour from his throat

earlier this month. The 54-year-old must now undergo five sessions

of radiotherapy but looks healthy and feels confident of making a

full recovery. “I would like to thank all the fans for their

well-wishes,” he said. “I am feeling fine in myself. “The operation

to take the tumour out was successful. All the specialists have

been positive and said that I should make a 100% recovery. “That is

all I wanted to hear. I will get on with the treatment and try to

be as positive as I can be.”