Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to “do something” about Manchester United’s recent barren FA Cup record as he prepares his side for Saturday’s third-round clash at West Ham.
With each passing season since United’s last triumph in the competition, against Millwall in 2004, more is made of the numerous long-serving players in the Reds squad who have never lifted the trophy, including Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick.
Sir Alex insists his side’s recent cup shortcomings haven’t been for a lack of trying and that a variety of factors have contributed, such as tough draws against fellow Premier League teams.
The Reds missed out on penalties to Arsenal in the 2005 final after dominating the game, then succumbed to a late Didier Drogba goal at Wembley two years later, which secured the first of Chelsea’s four cup wins in the last six years.
“Rio has been with us 10 years and never won the cup – it’s amazing,” Sir Alex said. “We’ll have to do something about it.
“The cup is a tournament where form doesn’t necessarily win games. Luck has a lot to do with it.
“We got to the semi-final against City but we’ve had some hard draws – twice away to Liverpool, away to City and a home tie with Leeds, when I rested a few players and we were caught short.
“Chelsea have been fantastic, though I thought they were lucky to beat us in the final when Drogba scored late on. We lost on penalty kicks to Arsenal, which everyone remembers was a travesty of a result.
“But I think with a club like ours, the closer we get to Wembley, the better we become.”
Sam Allardyce’s West Ham continue that run of tricky cup opponents and Sir Alex indicated he’ll field a strong team this weekend to give his side the best possible chance of progressing.