Manchester United look to bounce backMarch 20th, 2009 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS
London, March 20 (DPA) Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has always said what marks out a team as champions is how they react to defeat.
And after last week’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool, his Manchester United side must show the resilience of champions against Fulham Saturday.
“It was a shock for everybody,” United coach Rene Meulensteen told MUTV.
“We are all human - and sometimes you need to take it on the chin, look at it and move on. That is what we are doing.
“It is not nice to lose, and you don’t like to lose to your direct rivals even more. It makes it a little more emotional because it is Liverpool. But it is nothing we can’t handle.
“The players are all very keen to show this was just a slip-up.”
They have met Fulham twice this season, winning 3-0 at Old Trafford in the league and 4-0 at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup.
United still lead the Premier League by four points with a game in hand, but Ferguson has spent the week playing down talk of a potential quintuple.
Chelsea, one of the two sides four points back, face a difficult trip to Tottenham Hotspur, who are unbeaten in six in all competitions, and have not lost at home since November.
The other challenger, Liverpool, are home to fading Aston Villa Sunday, and will be buoyed by the news that their manager Rafael Benitez has, at last, signed an extension to his contract.
“We have to do our best and win our games and maybe United will drop points and we can take advantage,” said defender Sami Hyypia.
“We want to finish really well and pick up as many points as we can to get the highest place in the league.”
Villa, meanwhile, are without a win in seven in all competitions, and slipped out of the top four with last week’s home defeat to Tottenham.
Arsenal, who went above them with a 4-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers that suggested form might be returning, travel to struggling Newcastle, who are above the relegation zone only an goal difference.
Bottom side West Bromwich Albion are home to Bolton Wanderers, and need a win to start reeling in the six points that separate them from safety.
The two sides immediately above them, Stoke City and Middlesbrough, face each other at the Britannia Stadium.
Portsmouth, who are level with Newcastle and Stoke on 29 points, are home to Everton.
Tags: alex ferguson, bottom side, challenger, craven cottage, fa cup, four points, fulham, goal difference, hotspur, hyypia, london march, manager alex ferguson, manchester united, old trafford, premier league, rafael benitez, relegation zone, rene meulensteen, resilience, west brom