Sir Alex Ferguson has today admitted that he is surprised that Manchester United are so far ahead in the Barclays Premier League.
Manchester United are on course for a record 20th league title, and after losing out on goal difference last term this season will be all the sweeter taking it away from Manchester City.
At the start of the season Ferguson anticipated a close challenge from Chelsea after their heavy investment in new players last summer but nothing materialised as a threat to the dominance of Manchester United.
Ferguson was asked today by Sirius XM if he had expected the gap to the chasers to be closer, the 71-year-old replied:
“Absolutely. With Manchester City coming on to the scene in the last couple of years and Chelsea and Arsenal and Tottenham – teams that are vying for that top-four position – you would expect it would be really tight.
“After last season, what we said was, ‘Let’s make sure we don’t lose on goal difference’, because that’s what happened last year.
“Of course, our goal difference has improved dramatically, but I never thought for a minute we would be 15 points clear at this stage of the season.”
Manchester United face Sunderland in the Saturday lunch-time kick off at the Stadium of Light.
David Gill and United have even chartered private jets to get his squad players back from international duty as soon as possible.
Sir Alex Ferguson added:
“Every coach in the country is praying that their players come back fit; that is the first thing”
“The fact that they have played last Friday and they have played tonight – we have a game at 12.30pm on Saturday away from home at Sunderland – so once I know later this evening how many minutes each player has played, I will start to think about my team for Saturday.
“I have to make sure I have some freshness in the team because we have Saturday lunchtime and then on Monday lunchtime we have Chelsea [in the FA Cup quarter-final replay], so it is a big ask for our squad and something that we really need to concentrate on and make sure we need to pick the right teams.”