Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Work Must Go on, Says Sir Alex

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Work Must Go on, Says Sir Alex

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Stone

Sir Alex Ferguson insists his rebuilding work will continue at Manchester United despite the crushing disappointment of last night's European exit.

Defeat at the original Stadium of Light not only turfed the Red Devils out of the Champions League but also ripped away the safety net of a Uefa Cup spot.

It is the first time since 1995 United will not compete in Europe after Christmas and is bound to raise major question marks over Ferguson's 19-year reign as manager.

Having fended off questions over his likelihood of staying at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season on Tuesday, Ferguson was in no mood to enter the debate last night as he attempted to come to terms with United's stunning demise.

However, he did indicate he has no intention of relinquishing the post he has held since coming south from Aberdeen in 1986.

"It does not make any difference whether I walk down the street backwards, it will not alter my profile," said Ferguson.

"That is not a problem to me. We have a job to do and the rebuilding will carry on.

"I am not going to answer any questions about my future. Other people in the media will have plenty to say. I have a job to do, it is a good job and I have every confidence in my players."

Ferguson admitted the damage had been done with three largely ineffective home performances from which his side gleaned only five points.

Defeat to Lille left United on the brink of elimination and their agony only increased after finding a draw would have been enough this evening following the French side's defeat to Villarreal.

"We are disappointed," said Ferguson. "There is no doubt about that.

"We gave away possession far too easily so we only have ourselves to blame in that sense.

"We were desperate to win the match and with that came a sense of anxiety.

"I give my team 10 out of 10 for determination and effort but in the end it was not to be."

United had received the perfect start when Paul Scholes bundled home a sixth-minute opener.

But the visitors failed to build on their start and after failing to grab a second goal, saw their lead wiped out by Geovanni's diving header before Beto saw his first-time drive flick off Scholes and fly into the corner. …

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