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Alex Ferguson furious at 'absolutely ridiculous' red card for Darren Fletcher
Published : 10 Jan 2010 11:17:21
Ferguson has only recently served a two-match touchline ban for criticising the fitness of referee Alan Wiley earlier this season and has a two-match suspended sentence hanging over his head from the FA. But that did not stop him questioning the performance of Clattenburg. "I saw him [Clattenburg] referee Arsenal against Spurs recently and someone needed to take out an axe to get booked and then he sends someone off for that," said Ferguson. "It was very, very soft. "I've not seen a softer sending-off for a long time, absolutely ridiculous. "There were some weird and wonderful decisions going on out there. The linesman gives offside for our goal and it's an own-goal! (which negates offside). And he still gives offside." Ferguson, who may well be asked for an explanation of his comments by FA officials, insisted he was happy with a draw against an in-form Birmingham side managed by Alex McLeish, who played for the United manager when he was previously in charge of Aberdeen. United made seven changes from the team beaten by Leeds, but was forced to leave out Dimitar Berbatov because of a knee injury that is causing some concern for the Bulgaria striker. "Berbatov has been carrying a little knee injury and played with it last week," Ferguson said. "We'll just try to get him sorted and get him fit again." Ferguson added: "We're satisfied with a point because this is a difficult place to go to. It's not a bad point. It's a tough league. I have been saying that for months. I don't know if anyone is listening. "Going to Birmingham is not going to be easy. Teams like Birmingham have really improved, Alex has players that will run 100 miles for him. It is a point gained for us." Birmingham broke a club record stretching way back to 1907-08 with their 12th successive top-flight unbeaten league game and only Scott Dann's own-goal deprived them of a famous victory. But McLeish refused to get carried away and insisted Premier League survival was his only target, even though that seems all but assured for a Birmingham side that are now eighth in the table. "We have done nothing yet, because we could lose every remaining game this season," the former Scotland defender said. "It is a record to be proud of, but I am not that interested in statistics." Sporting Gijón midfielder Michel was a guest at St Andrews for the game and is expected to complete a £2.75 million transfer early next week depending on the outcome of a medical.