Fulham next obstacle in United’s race for quintuple

March 6th, 2009 - 12:15 pm ICT by IANS  

ChelseaLondon, March 6 (DPA) Manchester United’s quest for an unprecedented quintuple in football takes them to Fulham Saturday for an FA Cup quarter-final.

Alex Ferguson’s side won the World Club Cup in December, and added the Carling Cup with a penalty shoot-out victory over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

They hold a seven-point lead in the Premier League, and are well-placed to progress to the last eight of the Champions League after a goalless draw away to Inter Milan last week.

Striker Wayne Rooney, who scored the winner in the 2-1 victory at Newcastle United Wednesday, acknowledged this is the start of a vital week.

“We’re in a good position at the minute, we just have to keep playing our football, stay focussed from now until the end of the season and hopefully we’ll be OK,” Rooney told MUTV.

“We’ve got the FA Cup Saturday, Champions League Wednesday and Liverpool Saturday, so it’s a massive week for us. We have to make sure we prepare right for these games and hopefully we’ll do OK.”

Goalkeeper Petr Cech knows the strain such a pursuit can cause, having been part of the Chelsea side that missed out on a quadruple in 2006-07, wining just the FA Cup and Carling Cup.

“It’s hard when you want to win every competition - we know because we have gone close before,” he said.

“You can have a bad day and sometimes it’s not even that, it’s just bad luck. Sometimes you hit the woodwork three times and then concede at the other end and you’re out of a competition.

“It is always tough. You need to have everything going for you, the momentum and luck to achieve it. It’s hard.”

His side travel to Coventry City for their quarter-final Saturday.

The Championship outfit lie 13th in the table, and lost 2-1 at home to Sheffield United Wednesday. They are likely to be without left-back Dan Fox, one of their brightest players, after he succumbed to a knee problem.

Everton take on Middlesbrough in Sunday’s Cup quarter-final, while Arsenal still have a fifth-round tie to deal with, taking on Burnley, the Championship side that beat them 2-0 in the Carling Cup this season.

Burnley have fitness worries over goalkeeper Brian Jensen and leading scorer Martin Paterson after they suffered dead legs in the 1-0 won away to Blackpool in midweek.

In the lone Premier League weekend fixture, Tottenham Hotspur travel to Sunderland, buoyed by their 4-0 demolition of Middlesbrough Tuesday.

The hosts are in danger of being dragged back into the relegation fight after successive away games against Arsenal and Liverpool from which they took only a point.

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