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Chelsea still the danger for Ferguson
Published : 30 Dec 2009 08:59:01
In the wake of Sunday's win at Hull, Wayne Rooney labelled as "crazy" a season in which United suffered five defeats before Christmas, Chelsea go seven games without a win, Liverpool slump to eighth and Arsenal remain in the title race despite twice being written off after falling away following damaging defeats.
"At the start of the season I saw Chelsea as our biggest danger and I have not changed my mind," said Ferguson.
With Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City all in the hunt and even Birmingham flying high on the back of an 11-game unbeaten run, nothing can be taken for granted.
He added: "Nobody has had a consistent run really and although it is not looking like it at the moment, history tells you that two teams break away at the end.
"Chelsea are the big danger because they too have great experience."
Given he has spent the last six weeks operating with hardly any defenders, Ferguson admitted he would gladly accept having a two-point deficit to make up heading into 2010, which would be the case if United manage to record an 11th straight win against Wigan on Wednesday night.
As Gary Neville returns from a groin injury, Ferguson could name an experienced back four, even if Edwin van der Sar has been placed on extended compassionate leave after his wife Annemarie suffered a brain haemorrhage at home in Holland on December 23.
Amazingly, not only are United still in the thick of the title picture, they are only one point worse off than last season, and have actually scored more goals, which is staggering given the £80million summer departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
"People looked at us losing Ronaldo and saw that as being crucial," said Ferguson. "They felt we wouldn't be nearly as good without him. Cristiano was an unbelievable player. But we have adjusted to it. There is only one point difference."