FOOTBALL NEWS

30/12/2008 08:00, Report by Steve Bartram

Reds loitering with intent

Seven points off top spot but with two games in hand, Sir Alex Ferguson feels United are well placed to mount a strong Premier League challenge in 2009.

Victories over Stoke and Middlesbrough since returning from Japan have thrust the Reds back into the title hunt after a tricky start to the season, and the United manager is confident going into the New Year.

"We’re in a good position now, come the turn of the year," Sir Alex said after the victory over Boro. "We have the two games in hand – both at home, we’ve played more games away – that brings us level.

"It’s going to be a great run-in, it’s really exciting. I think we have to look at the both of them (Liverpool and Chelsea), but the important thing is just to do our own job. We’ve always done that, look after ourselves and we’ll be ok.

"I think the first half of the season has been very difficult for us. We had the tough away fixtures and, it’s old hat of course, but playing away after every European game is not easy. We’ve managed to cope, and we’re in a position where we can

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Boss in optimistic mood

"We’re in a good position now, come the turn of the year. It’s going to be a great run-in, it’s really exciting. I think we have to look at the both of them (Liverpool and Chelsea), but the important thing is just to do our own job. The first half of the season has been very difficult for us. We’ve managed to cope, and we’re in a position where we can still challenge."

- Sir Alex Ferguson

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