FOOTBALL NEWS

30/12/2009 21:50, Report by Ben Hibbs

Boss praises team effort

Sir Alex Ferguson praised an excellent team performance after a second 5-0 win over Wigan Athletic this season.

It is hard not to acknowledge the individual contributions of stand-out performers Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia and Rafael, but the Reds boss was keen to point out that the victory was created by the collective.

“It was an excellent performance, I'm very pleased,” he told MUTV. “On Sunday and again tonight, Wayne was absolutely fantastic. The energy he shows, and his desire to win, is marvellous. I was pleased to see Valencia get another goal for us, that is really key. And he’ll get more goals for us. It was also brilliant seeing Rafael celebrate his goal by running over to his brother. They love playing football and it’s terrific to see that enthusiasm. It’s an underestimated quality at times. But those two boys are a pair of aces.

“But on this particular night the whole team played well. I don’t really want to pick individuals out at this important part of the season because every man has to play his part, and they all did tonight.”

United were 3-0 up at half time and realistically had the game tied up with a blistering first-half display. But Sir Alex was pleased that his men didn’t let the tempo drop. “I think the first half performance in particular was one of the best of the season,” added the boss. “There was fluid movement, a good tempo and we created a lot of chances.

"But I thought we kept the momentum going for the whole night, and we recognised that it was an opportunity to get goals. Goal difference, you never know, could be important come the end of the season. We’re now two points behind Chelsea and our goal difference (27) is up there with Chelsea’s (29) and Arsenal’s (30). We’re in with a great chance.”

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