Liverpool and United could struggle due to Hillsborough emotion, admits Ferguson
12:47 GMT, 21 September 2012
Sir Alex Ferguson believes both sides could struggle during Sunday's clash between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield due to the emotion surrounding the occasion.
The match at Anfield on Sunday will
be the first at the ground since an independent panel released its
findings on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which took the lives of 96
The panel found that South Yorkshire
Police had sought to blame Liverpool supporters for the tragedy by
instructing its officers to change or amend their statements regarding
the day's events.
Big test ahead: Sir Alex Ferguson speaks during a press conference at Carrington on Friday morning
Ferguson likened it to the game his
side played against Manchester City at Old Trafford in February 2008
just days after the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster in which
eight United players died.
'It is possible (that the build-up could affect players). Human nature is that way,' Ferguson said.
'It happened to us at the 50th anniversary of Munich. We were so flat.
We just wanted to get it out of the way (United lost that match 2-1).
Asked about how both clubs had
handled the build-up to Sunday's game, Ferguson said: 'We have done our
bit. Liverpool have done their bit. The messages have been said.
'There is enough pressure on the players. It is an important game for both clubs.'
Respect: Everton and Newcastle showed their support on Monday for the 96 victims of the disaster
Red Devils captain Nemanja Vidic has
appealed to both United and Liverpool fans to behave during Sunday’s
meeting at Anfield and says that Britain is 'on trial'.
most highly charged fixture in the calendar promises to be more
emotional than ever as both clubs pay tribute to the 96 Liverpool
supporters who died at Hillsborough.
Taunts between fans over the 1989 stadium tragedy and Munich air crash of 1958 have tarnished this fixture in the past, and Vidic warned that English football will be in the spotlight as the rest of the world focuses on the game.
‘I’m aware of the sensitivity of the day,’ Vidic said. ‘Everybody is. The whole country is on trial in this one. All over the world they will be watching.’
United supporters’ group Stretford End Flags have urged fans not to make insensitive chants like those heard in the game against Wigan.
Vidic and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will release 96 red balloons before the game to remember the victims of Hillsborough.
Kenny Dalglish will also be at the match on Sunday, the first time he has been back to Anfield since he was sacked in May.
United winger Ashley Young will miss the match after being ruled out for a further two to three weeks with knee cartilage trouble.
Wayne Rooney will also be absent due to a gashed thigh and Darren Fletcher, who came on as a substitute in the Champions League win over Galatasaray in midweek having recovered from a chronic bowel condition, is not being considered for a return to the starting line-up until next week.