Fergie reflects on tough week

Sir Alex Ferguson admits he has "not had an easy week" as he faces up to Manchester United’s FA Cup quarter-final with Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Although Arsene Wenger has been centre stage following the row over Robin van Persie’s red card in Barcelona and the subsequent decision by UEFA to charge the Gunners boss with improper conduct, it only mirrors the difficulties Ferguson encountered with his observations about Martin Atkinson following last week’s Premier League defeat at Chelsea.

Ferguson must answer to the Football Association about that but then, by imposing a media blackout around the weekend encounter with Liverpool, when United were badly beaten, the Scot has had to endure more negative publicity about his own club.

Little wonder, when asked whether he had any sympathy for Wenger at United’s Carrington training complex on Friday morning, Ferguson turned the question back on himself.

"I have sympathy for myself. I didn’t have an easy week myself," he said.

Under the circumstances, Ferguson probably took a wise course of action in avoiding discussion of any controversy further, preferring instead to look ahead at what is to come.

"You have to look forward," he said.

"We have big opportunities at the club and there are a lot of challenges ahead for the rest of the season.

"It is terrific to be involved in the middle of March. Every game you play is of importance.

"We have Tuesday’s game against Marseille and Bolton in a league game next weekend. It goes on and on.

"That is why you get to March and hope you are involved in all these things. We are."

"It won’t be tomorrow. Hopefully it will be quite soon."