Fergie bullish over second leg

BY foxsports • January 20, 2010

Sir Alex Ferguson is optimistic a repeat performance of Tuesday night's Carling Cup effort in the second leg at Old Trafford next week will be enough to send Manchester United to Wembley.

Ferguson found it hard to be too critical of his side following the 2-1 reverse at Manchester City given they dominated for half an hour and continue to create clear openings after Carlos Tevez had ambushed his old club.

And, while they must win to stand any chance of successfully defending their trophy, the United boss remains confident.

"The most important thing will be to play like we did this time," he said.

"We dominated the match and were reasonably in control. Then we had a mad five minutes before half-time and it brought them back into the game.

"But with the crowd at Old Trafford, the occasion and what is at stake, we will be okay."

The mad five minutes Ferguson referred to revolved around the penalty teenage defender Rafael needlessly gave away five minutes before half-time for a tug on Craig Bellamy's shirt.

Rafael made his first grab outside the box but was still clinging on as the Welshman entered the area and referee Mike Dean immediately pointed to the spot.

Given his recent altercations with officialdom, Ferguson probably wisely diluted his words, instead inviting others to judge its merits.

"Everyone can see the penalty for themselves," he said.

"It is the kind of decision that has gone against us tonight but could go for us on another day."

Ferguson was not happy with City's second though.

A debatable corner turned into a disaster when Wes Brown and Jonny Evans both went to try and close Vincent Kompany down, meaning Tevez was on his own as the Belgian turned the ball back into the six-yard box.

It was a disappointing mistake given it involved two orthodox defenders, the kind Ferguson was desperate to return during that awful period when he had nine men missing.

"I don't know if it was a corner or not. But we certainly didn't defend it well," he grumbled.


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