Manchester United prepare for road to history

March 3rd, 2009 - 11:26 am ICT by IANS  

ArsenalLondon, March 3 (DPA) After winning the Carling Cup, Manchester United could take another step towards an unprecedented quintuple Wednesday, as they face Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Seven points clear at the top of the table, with a game in hand, it seems like just a matter of ticking off the game for United before they claim the Premier League to add to the Carling Cup and the Club World Cup they won in December.

United manager Alex Ferguson spoke of “keeping our feet on the ground.” but he admitted that a defeat for Liverpool and draws for Aston Villa and Arsenal at the weekend had strengthened his side’s position.

“It was a good weekend for us - you hope your opponents drop points,” he said.

“The best thing we can do is gather ourselves and energise ourselves for Newcastle Wednesday.

“I’ll freshen it up in some positions and, hopefully, we’ll get the result we want.”

Newcastle, after losing 1-0 to Bolton Wanderers, lie just two points above the relegation zone, and face Chelsea and Arsenal in their two home games after United’s visit.

“If you asked me if I would rather not play them, that goes without saying. But this is what we are faced with,” said acting manager Chris Hughton.

“On the other hand, these are the type of games as a player you must surely look forward to.

“It was a bitter blow to lose to Bolton, but all we can do is pick ourselves up and focus on Manchester United.

“We know there are a lot of teams in a similar situation to us - but all we can do is concentrate on our own game.”

Chelsea, the only one of the top five to win a league game at the weekend, travel to relegation-threatened Portsmouth, while Liverpool host an increasingly dogged Sunderland and Arsenal go to bottom side West Bromwich Albion.

Aston Villa will look to end a slump that has seen them go five games in all competitions without a win as they make the journey to the inconsistent Manchester City, who still have relegation fears with just six points separating them from the drop zone.

The big clash at the bottom, though, is Middlesbrough’s trip to Tottenham.

Buoyed by Saturday’s victory over Liverpool, even a point might be enough to lift Boro out of the bottom three.

“The players have put some consistent performances together,” said Boro boss Gareth Southgate. “Their belief is coming back, their confidence is coming back.”

Sinking Hull City are away to Fulham, while Stoke City host Bolton.

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