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Man Utd V Everton at Old Trafford : Match Preview

22 Apr 2012 10:08:23

Man Utd V Everton at Old Trafford : Match Preview

Rooney: We're in a great situation.

Manchester United entertain Wayne Rooney's former club Everton on Sunday knowing victory will put them one win away from retaining the title, no matter how Manchester City fare in their encounter with Wolves at Molineux later in the day. Two months ago, such a situation seemed unlikely, but United's superb run of results coincided with an unexpected dip in form for their rivals, leaving a record 20th championship within touching distance. And Rooney has urged his team-mates to capitalise on the position they find themselves in. "I would have taken this position," said Rooney. "City went a few points ahead of us and we had to keep fighting to stay in touch. "To be five points clear now is a great situation to be in. "But we have to do our job right from now until the end of the season in order to retain the title." United can only hope Bryan Robson's warning of a major penalty decision going against them as a direct result of Ashley Young's recent actions does not prove accurate. Rooney is another Red Devil who has been accused of diving in the past. However, he has stuck up for his team-mate, who the striker believes is being singled out unfairly. "It has been exaggerated because Ashley is a United player," said Rooney. "Whatever happens at our club, it gets more press than it would if it were another player at another team. "In any case, at times you are trying to get out of the way of being kicked and people think you have dived. "The game is so quick these days it is difficult for the referee to get some of those decisions right."

Everton boss David Moyes still feels any kind of a top-10 finish this term would represent a "great" outcome for his side. The Toffees have finished between eighth and fifth in each of the last five seasons and look set for something similar this time round having made their customary surge in the latter half of the campaign. Moyes' men have lost only twice in 13 league games and with five remaining and are a point clear of local rivals Liverpool, who came from behind to beat them 2-1 in last weekend's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. After that heartache, Everton fans will be particularly keen to see the Toffees stay ahead of their Merseyside neighbours in the table, but Moyes has stressed his belief that securing any spot in the top half would be a job well done. Reacting to the suggestion that seventh would be a good position to finish in, Moyes said: "I think 10th would be. "You can look back, and I've said if Everton finish in the top 10 I think it will be a great position for the season and how it has been. "It shows you where expectations have gone to at Everton. We are expecting cup finals and finishing around seventh regularly." Moyes has vowed Everton will give their all to finish the season strongly and is not looking to discourage high hopes among supporters. The Scot is trying to keep things in perspective, though, particularly in light of the relatively modest amount of money the club has spent this term. "It is good - it is my job to raise expectations and that has certainly happened," he said. "That is because over the last few years we have finished sixth, seventh, eighth or around there, but there has been a lot of money spent by clubs trying to overtake us. "I have said many times this season the Fulhams, the Sunderlands, the Stokes have all spent pretty well to try to do that. "We hadn't spent to overtake the teams above us - the likes of Liverpool or Tottenham - so we were always going to be the team to possibly drop down."

Man Utd V Everton - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.


PA

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