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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Ferguson attacks Premier League
By Howard Nurse
BBC Sport website football editor, Milan

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson's side looked jaded at the San Siro
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson launched a scathing attack on the Premier League after their Champions League exit.

Ferguson's side exited Europe after a 3-0 semi-final loss at AC Milan on Wednesday, going out 5-3 on aggregate.

"Leagues in other countries would help their clubs no end so they can prepare properly for European nights, so there is a problem there," he said.

"We've not had much help from the Premier League."

United face Manchester City on Saturday after failing to get the derby game put back 24 hours.

He added: "Nonetheless we will be there at City on Saturday.

"The television company were quite happy to move the game to Sunday but the Premier League refused. It's an unfair decision to make us play on Saturday."

Ferguson called into question the integrity of the Premier League's policy as United's weary squad try to pick themselves up after their Champions League exit at the hands of a ruthless AC Milan side.

You have to learn to recover from disappointment

Sir Alex Ferguson
Victory for United at City coupled with Chelsea failing to beat Arsenal would hand Ferguson his ninth Premiership title.

"Like I said, the television was happy to move the game to Sunday but the Premier League said the integrity of the competition had to be paramount. You can work out what integrity means, but I think it was an unfair decision," said Ferguson.

"The same happened when Tottenham had to play so soon after a European match."


Ferguson, who was full of praise for AC Milan who ended United's bid for another Treble, added: "We had a gruelling test at Everton and had to run the extra mile to win that match and that wasn't easy.

"You have to learn to recover from disappointment. I think Louis Saha and Rio Ferdinand will both be fit for Saturday so there's a glimmer of hope on player availability."

Asked for his view on the prospects of a second Liverpool v AC Milan final in three years, Ferguson added: "Both teams will be fresh for the final, they will be able to rest players and prepare fully."

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