United can win Treble - Hughes

BY foxsports • April 10, 2011

First-half goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Antonio Valencia ensured United were never seriously threatened. Victory took them 10 points clear in the Premier League ahead of a crucial week that includes Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final return with Chelsea and next weekend's eagerly-anticipated FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City. And whilst Hughes accepts United still have plenty of work ahead of them to emulate the heroes of 1999, he knows it can be done. "They could win everything," said the Fulham manager. "They are ticking games off and when you get to this stage of the season, they have been here, understand what needs to happen and what it takes. "It is a big ask. Sir Alex would say himself it is very difficult to do. "But trust me, it is something they will try and achieve. Good luck to them." If all goes to plan, United's season still has 12 games to go and will reach its conclusion in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 28. However, their hard-to-please manager will demand far more than he saw on Saturday afternoon. To most observers, it seemed like the perfect afternoon ahead of two such significant tests. For Ferguson it was a disappointment. "It was a result but I wouldn't say it was a job well done at all," he said. "We were a bit casual and lackadaisical. "In the first half we played some very good football and could have scored a couple more. But we became wasteful with our possession in the second and might have suffered for that." It seemed a churlish response to his team opening up such a formidable lead on Arsenal, who play one of their two games in hand at Blackpool on Sunday. However, Ferguson has not won so many honours by settling for second best, or avoiding big decisions, which is why Berbatov can expect to be back on the bench in midweek despite bagging his 22nd goal of the season. "That was a great goal," said Ferguson, who made eight changes in total, although he denied he had taken Fulham lightly. "You trust the squad. It wasn't a risk when you know the players. I picked the right team." Ferguson has already confirmed Valencia will start on Tuesday. The Ecuador star has stepped superbly back into the heat of combat after spending six months on the sidelines with a major knee injury. He nodded home the loose ball after Aaron Hughes had cleared Nani's goalbound shot, his first goal since August's Community Shield. "Valencia is a marvellous footballer," said Ferguson. "We chose the right time to take him off and get him fresh for Tuesday. He will have an important role to play then." It was the brightest part of Ferguson's afternoon given his well-fancied horse, What A Friend, failed to complete the Grand National at Aintree. "Apparently What a Friend was lying seventh three fences out," said the Scot. "But he came home tired."

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