13/05/2012 19:02, Report by Nick Coppack
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Reds deserve great credit

Sir Alex insists United can take “great credit” in the 2011/12 season, despite falling at the final hurdle and in heartbreaking fashion.

The Reds were just minutes away from clinching an unlikely 20th league title... until two injury-time goals at the Etihad Stadium sealed the championship for Manchester City.

Celebrations turned to shock at the Stadium of Light, where United fans had just watched the Reds beat Sunderland 1-0 thanks to a first-half Wayne Rooney goal.

The result meant United finished the season on 89 points and lost the league only on goal difference.

“I think we can take great credit,” Sir Alex told MUTV. “We’ve had to contend with a lot of injuries this season so I’ve had to change the team around a lot. That didn’t always help us.

“I have absolutely no recriminations about our season at all. Yes, there were times we can look back and say we’ve done this wrong or we’ve done that wrong, but 89 points would have won the league in most seasons.

“At the start of the season I said 82 points would probably win it. And we’ve gone seven points ahead of that. It doesn’t matter, though. We’ve lost the league. There’s nothing we can do about it.

“We congratulate Manchester City. Anyone who wins the league deserves to win it because it’s a very difficult league to win.”

The boss, magnanimous in defeat, took a number of positives from United’s final game of the season and said his players – particularly the younger ones – would learn a lot from the experience.

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