Ferguson gives up on the premiership title

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has given up on catching Chelsea in the Premiership title race, and now says coming second is their target.

Ferguson cut a frustrated figure at Old Trafford on Saturday as another stubborn Blackburn Rovers display saw them hold United to a goalless draw.

Chelsea later went on to stretch their lead at the top to 13 points after a 3-1 win at Southampton, with just seven games left to play.

United's draw also saw them slip down to third in the table on goal difference after Arsenal's win over Norwich.

Ferguson says that Jose Mourinho's side can now not be caught, and he now says that finishing second is their major aim.

"You can forget Chelsea, that's for sure," said Ferguson.

"You do not win league titles with performances like that.

"It is going to be very difficult for us now and second spot is the real priority for us now."

Finishing second will mean a passage into the UEFA Champions League without the need to qualify - but ending up third would cause some unwanted fixtures early next season.

United also have the FA Cup still to go for, with a semi-final clash with Newcastle coming up in two weeks.

Ferguson may be without Ryan Giggs for the semi, but hopes Ruud van Nistelrooy will rediscover his goalscoring touch in time.

Both players had busy international weeks, and Ferguson has never been a fan of releasing his players to play for their country.

"Ruud travelled to Romania last weekend and had another game on Wednesday, so they are coming thick and fast for him now," said Ferguson.

"To be honest, I am glad to get these internationals out of the way. The players are never the same when they come back to us and I just want to get them back in a Manchester United jersey again.

"I am going to pick a different team next week. There are one or two players like Louis Saha and Alan Smith who need a game and then we will see how things look for the semi-final."

Source: www.skysports.com
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