United Grit Pleases Sir Alan
Wayne Rooney blasted the visitors back on to level terms, but it was left to Dimitar Berbatov to clinch the victory after Park-Ji-Sung capitalised on Ryan Taylor's 56th-minute error to set him up. United were not at their best but never looked likely to surrender their advantage, despite a late flurry from the hosts. It was just the response the Carling Cup winners needed after last night's results, and Ferguson insists they can handle the pressure. He said: "The teams who play first and get a result will always say 'Pressure on'. "But it doesn't make much difference to us. You have to rely on and trust the players. You have to show patience and experience. "It is nothing new to them." United winger Cristiano Ronaldo found himself on the wrong end of Steven Taylor's flailing arm just before the break, the defender earning a booking and Rio Ferdinand following him after calling for sterner action. It is understood a heated debate continued in the tunnel at the break, although caretaker Newcastle boss Chris Hughton was quick to defend his player. He said: "Anybody who has seen the incident again will have seen where he actually made contact, and he made contact on the top of his shoulder and his neck. "I have had the opportunity to see it again and I am quite sure if anybody here has, they would agree." The defeat, despite a much-improved performance, left Newcastle just a point clear of the drop zone after wins for Stoke, Tottenham and Hull - and Blackburn's point against Everton. Asked if he believes they will survive, Hughton said: "Yes, I do. "It's vital that we put on that type of performance right through to the end of the season. "I was delighted with the performance. In the form that Manchester United are in, to be able in a lot of periods of the game to take the game to them, take the lead and go very close to getting a second speaks volumes for this group of players."