Scholes used to United criticism
PAUL Scholes has challenged his Manchester United team-mates to prove the doubters wrong once more. After a disappointing run of results, including December defeats to Aston Villa and Fulham being followed up by that miserable FA Cup third-round home defeat by League One Leeds and Saturday's disappointing draw at an admittedly in-form Birmingham, the knives are once again being sharpened outside Old Trafford. The situation is not helped by the perceived financial restraint being placed on Sir Alex Ferguson which the United manager insists does not exist in reality. What it has done is fuel a negative atmosphere around the team which is easy for those who do not like Ferguson to exploit. For some players, such as Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan, it is a completely new experience. Others like Scholes have seen it all before. And he is anxious for United to come through it again. "You thrive on adversity," said the 35-year-old. "The more it happens the better it is for us. "We have probably been written off at some stage every season and this year is going to be no different. "We just have to prove people wrong again." Qatar break The plotting to achieve that will be done in Qatar, where Ferguson has taken his players on a warm-weather training break until Thursday to escape the snow that descended on United's Carrington training ground last week and badly disrupted preparation for the Birmingham encounter. With a home game to come on Saturday against Burnley, who inflicted an early-season blow on United when they recorded a stunning win at Turf Moor back in August, followed by the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester City three days later, Ferguson will hope his players reap immediate benefits from their sunshine break. Certainly a sequence of victories would alter perceptions. And, according to Scholes, it is purely perceptions that make it look as though United are having a hard time. "There is no disaster yet," he said. "I wouldn't say we were bullish. But we are a point behind Chelsea, which is not a bad position even though we have played a game more. "We are also in the last 16 of the Champions League and have that important Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester City. "Okay, we had the disappointment of Leeds but every side has one of those every now and then. "The fact is, we are still on the hunt for three major trophies. Hopefully we can win at least one." Do you share Scholes' optimism? Have your say.
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