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Sir Alex Ferguson has called for his Manchester United side to bounce back from the defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup game against Arsenal.

United turned in a disappointing performance in an emotional Manchester derby last weekend, and Ferguson believes his players were affected by the occasion as the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster was commemorated by a minute's silence.

Ferguson now wants Manchester United to respond in the right way against an Arsenal team in terrific form.

He said: "I have a feeling the emotions got to our players. The minute's silence was very emotional - it got to me.

"Certainly it was one of the worst performances you would have expected from a Manchester United side. But we have to put that behind us.

"Back in '58 it was a test for the club - now we have a test.

"It has been a quiet training field this week. The derby result had a deep impact on the team - they feel it.

"They are genuine players with a genuine desire to do well. But they know they have an uphill fight to win the league. We must ensure we do not drop many more points."


Manchester United and Arsenal are both in UEFA Champions League action next week but, while Ferguson does intend to shuffle his pack, he is still expecting a classic cup encounter.

He explained: "I think both myself and Arsene Wenger will make changes as we have massive games ahead.

"I am sure it will still be a match of great commitment, so fasten your seat belts."

Gary Neville will not feature for United against Arsenal as he continues his recovery from a serious ankle problem.

Neville has had to allay fears recently that his injury troubles could prompt him to retire, and Ferguson is also backing the defender to overcome his problems.

"What Gary needs is a bit of luck," said the United boss.

"He's had setback after setback. It is only because of his character he is able to persist in his efforts to get back.

"He is getting all the help and encouragement we can give him. Gary is not far away but what he cannot afford is another niggling injury, which can happen.",19528,11667_3150730,00.html

As long as he puts out a team which he honestly believes is capable of beating Arsenal I will be happy.

Forget Champions League for a moment, The Premier League is the biggest trophy worth winning in my opinion.

Whoever wins this tie will also gain a huge pyscholgical advantage over the other in the battle for the Premier League Trophy.

The players need to be up for this game and believe they can win and Fergie has to field a team which can win.

No messing around anymore, It is time to start backing up all the talk and signings with not just results, but with football that is worthy of being associated with Manchester United Football Club, and show the country once and for all which team plays the most attractive football.
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