FOOTBALL NEWS

23/09/2012 16:12, Report by Steve Bartram
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Sir Alex wants springboard

United's gritty victory over Liverpool at Anfield will not enter folklore as one of the Reds' greatest displays, but Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful that the result will lay down a marker for future trips to Merseyside.

A famously impressive record at the home of the Merseysiders has waned in recent seasons, and Sunday's victory - a first in almost five years - is seen by the United manager as a potential platform for future victories on hostile turf.

"In the last four years here we haven't played well," Sir Alex told MUTV. "Today at least we've got a result. Hopefully that's a turning point for us because if you look back over the years we always did really well here.

"I think it was about five, six, seven years in a row we did exceptionally well, but it goes in cycles anyway. Before we had that run they had a period in the late '80s of getting results against us, so it's maybe our turn to start."

Focusing on the short term, Sir Alex conceded that his team had been below par in procuring the victory, and only imposed themselves on the game after Jonjo Shelvey's red card.

"I thought we were poor, to be honest with you," he said. "I think the last four years we've allowed the crowd to get to us a little bit - they give fantastic support to their team and they really dominated the first half. Second half they got a great start. With ten men I thought that was a great boost to them because it was something to hold on to, but credit to the players in that respect; the second half we played much, much better, but we were against ten men. I think Scholes, Carrick and Giggs' experience got us through."

Shelvey's red card provoked a furious reaction from the Liverpool midfielder, his team-mates and the home support, but Sir Alex was unwavering in his assessment of the youngster's lunge on Jonny Evans - and he shrugged off Shelvey's finger-jabbing

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