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Page last updated at 23:26 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Ferguson confident despite defeat

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson was relieved to only lose by a single goal at Pride Park

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is confident of beating Derby despite his side's shock defeat in their Carling Cup semi-final first leg.

The Rams won 1-0 at Pride Park but also missed a host of chances.

"We are lucky, we could have lost by more," Ferguson said. "We were so bad and Derby will rue the fact they didn't score more.

"But we expect to recover from a 1-0 deficit against anyone at Old Trafford and I am sure we will."

The second leg takes place in Manchester on Tuesday, 20 January.

Ferguson, whose attention now switches to a crunch Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday, admitted his side played poorly against the Championship strugglers.


"The only positive to take from the game is the fact we only lost 1-0. It was a fantastic result for us tonight considering the performance," added Ferguson.

Derby's academy manager David Lowe was in charge of the Rams but their incoming manager Nigel Clough, the son of Rams' legend Brian, was watching from the stands.

Ferguson does not know whether Clough's emotional appointment had an impact on the home side's performance but is well aware of the galvanising effect a new manager can have.

"It happens so many times historically, there is no rhyme or reason to it," Ferguson said.

"A few years ago we played West Ham and Alan Curbishley had just taken over and they beat us 1-0. It is a strange thing."

It was a big overall performance from everyone really - we worked hard on the training pitch and got our rewards

Derby caretaker boss David Lowe
Lowe, in his only match in charge before Clough takes over, was proud of his side's display.

"That was down to sheer hard work, sheer enthusiasm and sheer passion," he explained. "And when we had the ball we played some decent stuff too.

"It was a big overall performance from everyone really. We worked hard on the training pitch and got our rewards."

But he insists the players must keep working hard once Clough takes charge if they are to climb away from the Championship relegation zone.

"They have shown a high standard against a top team and they have to keep that up for the rest of the season because we need league points," added Lowe.

"They can enjoy this victory by all means, but preparation for Cardiff on Saturday starts tomorrow and that is what they must recreate."

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see also
Derby 1-0 Man Utd
07 Jan 09 |  League Cup
Carling Cup as it happened
07 Jan 09 |  League Cup
Carling Cup photos
07 Jan 09 |  League Cup

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