Survive on Sunday and the title can be ours! Fergie demands full focus on Spurs
Sir Alex Ferguson believes that if Manchester United can 'survive' Sunday's trip to Tottenham, his side will have a huge chance of retaining their Barclays Premier League title.
Ferguson always felt a six-week run of fixtures from mid-January onwards would hold the key to United's hopes of a record 20th championship.
So far it couldn't have gone much better. Victories over Arsenal and Liverpool, plus a point collected from a trip to Chelsea when United found themselves three goals down in the second half, have left them two behind leaders Manchester City, who have, on paper, had a significantly easier time.
Looking to the future: Sir Alex Ferguson is confident his team can successfully defend the Premier League title
However, once this weekend – when City are at home to second-bottom Bolton, is out of the way, the roles are reversed. And that should mean United are still in the thick of it when they head to the Etihad Stadium on April 30.
'It's going to be a massive game [at Spurs],' he told Inside United. 'If we can survive that one, then we'll have a big chance of winning the league.
'I would take it [being two points behind City going into the game at the Etihad Stadium]. I would rather go there on level points. But if we could go there within striking distance of being top of the league, I'd take it.'
Although there have been a few fitness woes recently, with Antonio Valencia and Tom Cleverley sidelined after picking up minor knocks in the recent Europa League encounter with Ajax, the biggest part of United's massive injury list has now cleared up.
High times: Tottenham, until their thrashing on Sunday, were the form team
And that leaves Ferguson with an even greater sense of optimism.
'I should have more players available than I've had in the last few weeks because we've had a terrible spell of injuries,' he said. 'But we've done the right thing in the treatment of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, we've given them a break.
'They are young players and they had been carrying little strains for weeks. Then all of a sudden it hits them, and we had to take stock, to get them back. We've given them a fair break and they're fresh now.'