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· Banned
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Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United have been 'handicapped' by the fixture list this season.

The Red Devils have had to play away in the Premier League immediately after all of their UEFA Champions League games.

They held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge after their first European match this term, before beating Blackburn and drawing with Everton.

United also lost 2-1 at Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime less than three days after their clash with Celtic in Scotland.

Ferguson is not happy with his side's schedule and also feels that United have been handed their toughest away fixtures in the first half of the season.

However, he is confident that if United can stay in touch with their rivals over the next two months they will be in a strong position to defend their title.

"They say the league is not handicapped but it is. Every game after a European tie is away from home," Ferguson told Sky Sports News.

"We have the top ten teams from last season away from home in the first half of the season

"So you can see it's been a big challenge to us.

"But hopefully, if we can get in among the top ones come the turn of the year, we'll have a big chance next year."
Rafael praise

Reflecting on the defeat to Arsenal, Ferguson admitted that United could have picked up three points if they had been more ruthless in front of goal.

He said: "It was a disappointing day for us. The only consolation is that we played some fantastic football.

"I think we made the best chances in the match and could have scored four or five, maybe six goals. You have to take those chances."

Rafael da Silva scored United's goal after coming on as a substitute and Ferguson has been hugely impressed by the young Brazilian full-back.

"He is a breath of fresh air," praised Ferguson. "He came on yesterday and grabbed the game.

"He took us up a notch in the match. It is not easy for an 18-year-old defender to come in but he is one of the bright young players we have at this club and we are very pleased with him.",19528,11667_4478566,00.html

· Arse Bandito
1,721 Posts
bright side, is that we've played a lot of hard away games.
wins at pompey and blackburn are usually hard to come by.
and we've played the big 3 away and sure, haven't got results, but our second half of the season should be easier as long as we keep on top of the fatigue that Japan will bring.
winning the league is still on in my opinion, but we need a big run from now until we go away to the world club championship.
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