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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 12:19 GMT
Ferguson backs Veron
Juan Veron in action for Manchester United against Liverpool
Veron (left) could only watch as Liverpool beat United
Sir Alex Ferguson has jumped to the defence of Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron.

The Argentine, who became Britain's most expensive signing at 28.1m, has been the subject of widespread criticism since moving to Old Trafford from Lazio.

Critics have accused him of upsetting the balance of the Premiership champions and of failing to assert himself during big matches.

But Ferguson insists that Veron is an important part of a team that put together a run of eight successive league wins before falling 1-0 to Liverpool on Tuesday.

The one thing about Seba Veron is that he is always positive
Alex Ferguson

"Seba has had his share of critics," said Ferguson.

"Every one of the players has had their share of criticism and that's all because we're Manchester United. That's the only reason.

"But Seba has been fantastic. The one thing about Seba Veron is that he is always positive and I think it's great to see a player with such belief in himself."

Ferguson paid tribute to his bravery on the big occasion.

"When he took the ball against Bayern Munich in the first minute of our Champions League game, he took it outside his own box, shielded it and held it there, right on the edge of the box.

"I said: 'For Christ's sake, Seba, not there.' But he has that great belief and it's great to see that."

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