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Fergie hails title heroes
06 May 2007 - 19:04:25
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson singled out the resilience of his side after Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Arsenal handed the Red Devils their first Premiership title in four seasons.
Chelsea faced the Gunners on Sunday knowing they needed to win to avoid seeing United crowned champions, but could only manage a draw at the Emirates Stadium in a match which saw Blues defender Khalid Boulahrouz sent off.
United had moved eight points clear of Chelsea with a narrow 1-0 win in Saturday's Manchester derby and in the end it was enough to see Ferguson's side crowned champions with two games of the season still remaining.
Asked if a ninth title in 15 Premiership seasons was the most special, the veteran Scot told Sky Sports: "All of them were good.
"Maybe the fact that for two years Chelsea dominated the Premier League and we had a big job to do to catch them (makes it special).
"The key was a good start to the season and we did that very well. It gave us momentum and from that moment on we did not lose it.
"It's not easy to keep a lead for six months knowing Chelsea are on your coat-tails.
"The crucial part was the resilience of the players when we started getting all those injuries. Credit to the players who dug in every week for us. It's been a fantastic effort by them."
Ferguson also admitted that perhaps his focus has shifted from European to domestic success following Chelsea's recent domination of the Premiership.
"The Premiership is such a competitive league with the pressure on big clubs to do well, and that means it is a priority for us," he continued.
"Some years ago I had an obsession with winning in Europe, but I think that's been overtaken by winning the Premier League. To win it is a big achievement.
"It's the priority, but I do wish we'd got to the (Champions League) final in Athens."