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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Ferguson hits back at the media
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson launched a stinging attack on the media after Manchester United's 2-1 victory over Benfica.

Ferguson was booed from the field after Saturday's defeat to Blackburn and faced fierce criticism in the press.

But after Tuesday's win he said: "We did exactly the same thing when we lost against Blackburn as we did here - and no, I am not going to explain myself."

And he told the gathered media: "You have your own ideas on the game. I don't want to blunt your imagination."

Ferguson was accompanied by a security guard as he left the field on Saturday and the booing in his direction led to intense media scrutiny.

United's supporters had chanted "4-4-2" during the defeat to Rovers, a call for a return to the system that brought so much success to the Old Trafford club over the last decade.

And assistant manager Carlos Queiroz's decision to publicly criticise the United fans in a Portuguese newspaper - suggesting that in football "stupidity has no limits" - ensured more negative headlines.

But after Ruud van Nistelrooy's 85th-minute goal sealed a 2-1 Champions League win over Benfica, Ferguson was applauded from the field.

And the manager then defended his team, adding: "Form has not been that bad.

"The loss against Blackburn was a travesty of a result because we missed some good chances but this was different.

"There was a little bit of anxiety among the players after they scored, but once the game settled down again there was only going to be one winner and that was us.

The fans supported us from the first minute to the last
Ruud van Nistelrooy

"We were always positive and with persistence you can gain success. We deserved it.

"There's no point feeling sorry for yourself, you just have to get on with it and we did."

United had failed to win their previous four games in all competitions, drawing three and losing one.

And Ferguson's team are 10 points behind leaders Chelsea in the Premiership after playing just six games.

Van Nistelrooy paid tribute to the supporters after the role they played in urging the team to victory.

"We dominated the game but we were shocked by the equaliser and people may have thought 'here we go again' but we were able to come back," he said.

"It was great to score again, especially so late on to win the match.

"The atmosphere was brilliant too - the fans supported us from the first minute to the last."

Benfica manager Ronald Koeman said that his team deserved a draw from the game - and had missed an opportunity against a team that he knew was under pressure.

"We knew Manchester United were not in the best form at the moment and we came to attack and played very well," said Koeman.

"We had a few opportunities but football is like this sometimes, the result isn't just about who plays well.

"We deserved a draw but you don't always get the result you deserve or want.

"In football a lot of games are decided at the end of a match and we didn't pay enough attention to the corner kick at the end of the game.

"It's a pity because I thought a draw would have been a fairer result."




WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: Sir Alex Ferguson



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