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RED sky at night UNITED delight!

Date: Thurs Apr 09 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

Happy Easter to REDS All Over the World!
Enjoy the match on Friday v Liverpool.

		Today's pic: Peter with the Danish team

Your editor Barry 

This Issue:
1. United Triumphant (Carling)
2. Johnsen Relieved (Carling)
3. Nobby Stiles' Views (Carling)
4. Tommy Doc's Views (Carling)
5. Johnsen: United Regain Momentum (Carling)
6. Fergie Supports Liverpool Challenge? (PA)


Date:         Wed, 8 Apr 1998 23:59:06 +0800
Subject:   United Triumphant (Carling)

Man United 8 Apr 1998

Manchester United have collected their first piece of silverware this season
after winning the Carling Charity Challenge.

The competition is based on the results of the Premiership's five North West
teams in derbies against each other.

United's 3-1 win at Blackburn meant they now have an unassailable lead over
second-placed Everton.

The Premiership champions have earned their nominated charity, the Elizabeth
Hardie Ferguson Charitable Trust Fund named in honour of manager Alex
Ferguson's mother, a cheque for 10,000.

Subject:   Johnsen Relieved (Carling)

Man United 7 Apr 1998

Ronny Johnsen was a relieved man after Manchester United's second-half
comeback at Ewood Park kept their title hopes on track.

United's championship challenge looked in severe danger at half-time when
they trailed 1-0 to a Chris Sutton penalty.

But goals from Andy Cole, Paul Scholes and David Beckham saw them fight back
to extend their Premiership lead over Arsenal to six points.

``Everybody knew it was a big game and one that we had to win to stay in the
lead,'' said United defender Johnsen. ``It was very important for us to get
the points.

``We all knew it was a terrible performance in the first half and the
manager was not very pleased.

``But we managed to turn it around in the second half and we showed a lot of

``It's great for the morale of the team that we managed to do that and in
the end it was a great result for us.''

United boss Alex Ferguson claimed he could not remember another game where
his side had been so outplayed as they were in the first half and he warned
it would not be tolerated in any of the champions' remaining games.

``We have had a warning about our performance and I expect everyone to play
much better on Friday against Liverpool.

``It was a really gritty performance when we needed it.''

Blackburn, who have won only once in 12 attempts against United, were
devastated to have played so well yet finish up as losers.

Goalkeeper Alan Fettis said: ``Andy Cole did extremely well to score their
first goal.

``But it should have been a throw in to us and the manager was not very
happy about it.

``The second goal was a bit unfortunate in that it came off his knee and
wrong-footed me.

``Not many people get much luck against Manchester United and that's how
they win championships.

``Lady Luck was with them as they went 1-0 down but they have still managed
to get a result.''

Fettis summed up the mood in the Rovers' changing room when he said:
``Somebody said the first half was the best they had seen Blackburn play
against Manchester United.

``We thought if we could keep it going in the second half we would win the

``The 3-1 scoreline makes it look like Manchester United have come here and
won quite easily but they have not. We should have got a draw at least if
not a win.''

To complete Rovers' woe, midfielders Billy McKinlay and Garry Flitcroft face
suspensions after picking up bookings in the match.

Subject:    Nobby Stiles' Views (Carling)

Man United 7 Apr 1998

Manchester United's vital victory at Blackburn has turned up the FA Carling
Premiership title heat on Arsenal, according to Old Trafford legend Nobby

United had to win to keep ahead of the Gunners in the race for the
championship and they produced a terrific second-half comeback at Ewood Park
last night to put the pressure right back on their rivals.

The champions lead the Premiership by six points again, and the onus is on
Arsenal to convert their games in hand into wins.

Stiles was becoming worried by Arsenal's succession of key 1-0 wins - but he
feels much happier now.

``That win will be great for the confidence of United,'' said Stiles.

``The lads have had the pressure on them for a while now since the games
against Arsenal and Monaco.

``To win titles you need to be winning games 1-0 at this stage of the
season, and that's what Arsenal have been doing.

``That put the pressure on the lads, and you could see that in the first
half against Blackburn.

``But they turned it round and now they have a six-point lead again, and the
pressure is back on Arsenal.

``They must keep winning, and so I think United will still win the title.''

Stiles felt United's gutsy comeback was the hallmark of champions.

``Alex Ferguson said they were hanging on in there in the first half after
they had not played well,'' he said.

``In the second half they battled like champions, and you've got to do that
when you're not playing well. They really did dig out that victory.''

Peter Schmeichel, Gary Pallister, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt returned after
injury to play a big part in the victory, and Stiles believes that is
another huge boost for United.

``All the lads were back, and Giggs was back to give proper balance on the
left,'' he said.

``For me, though, the man who helped turn the match was Nicky Butt who came
on at half-time.

``He made a big difference and was a major influence in United's attacking

``These lads will be better for the game, which is great news for United in
the final matches.''

Subject:     Tommy Doc's Views (Carling)

Man United 8 Apr 1998

Manchester United will cash in on the Wembley factor as they surge to their
fifth FA Carling Premiership title.

But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, not United chief Alex Ferguson, should be
crowned manager of the year.

That is the view of former Old Trafford boss Tommy Docherty, who believes
United will win all their remaining games.

United extended their lead in the Premiership to six points with a battling
3-1 victory at Blackburn.

And while Arsenal, with three games in hand, are still masters of their own
destiny, Docherty believes the distraction of an FA Cup final, coupled with
a tougher Premiership run-in, will prove too much for the Gunners.

``United will win it, no question,'' said Docherty, who has allegiances in
both camps having managed the Old Trafford club to FA Cup final triumph in
the Seventies and having played for Arsenal for four years in the late
Fifties and early Sixties.

``I can't see United dropping any more points this season, while it will be
increasingly difficult for Arsenal to keep their foot on the pedal.

``They might not admit it but having got to Wembley the players might just
hold back that little bit, not wanting to get injured and picking up a
little knock. Players can't help doing that.''

If Arsenal do miss out on their first championship title since 1991,
however, Docherty reckons they will have just two men to blame - Denis
Bergkamp and Ian Wright.

``No team can win a major championship with their two main strikers sitting
on the bench,'' said Docherty.

``Either for being sent off or coming back from injury you know Bergkamp and
Wright will miss a dozen games or so each season.''

In fact, Bergkamp has missed six games through disciplinary measures so far
this season and serves the final match of his current three-game suspension
against Newcastle on Saturday.

Wright has served a two-match ban but has been out for the last 10 weeks
with a series of injuries.

``Apart from all that their manager Arsene Wenger has impressed me
tremendously,'' said Docherty.

``He has handled his players marvellously and for me he is the manager of
the year. Arsenal are playing some fabulous football.''

But it is the spirit of United, rather than their football, which makes
Docherty so confident they will make it a hat-trick of consecutive titles.

``OK, they were outplayed in the first half against Blackburn, but having
gone behind they were very resolute and they ground out the result,'' said

``They had several players coming back from bad injuries who hadn't even
played a reserve game and they were puffing and panting.

``Considering the long-term injuries United have had this season, with Roy
Keane, Denis Irwin, Gary Pallister and Jordi Cruyff they have done
remarkably well to be in such a strong position.''

Subject:     Johnsen: United Regain Momentum (Carling)

Man United 8 Apr 1998

Blackburn were not the only side Manchester United scored a victory over at
Ewood Park on Monday night.

United defender Ronny Johnsen feels the win has given them an edge over
Arsenal in their duel for the title.

Arsenal had cranked up the pressure on the champions after they had closed
the gap on them at the top of the Premiership to three points.

But United's 3-1 win has restored their six-point advantage, although the
Gunners do have three games in hand.

Johnsen has no doubts that the victory, which had looked so unlikely when
United trailed 1-0 at half-time after being outplayed in the first half, has
handed them a psychological boost over Arsenal.

``It has without doubt,'' said the Norwegian international.

``Everybody knew it was a very big game, which we had to win to stay ahead.

``It was a vital win for us, but then all the remaining games are very
important and we've got to keep winning from here on in.

``I think Arsenal must have been very happy at half-time, but we managed to
turn it around in the second half.

``They now know they have got to win all their games if they are going to
win the league.''

As well as being a defining moment in United's title challenge, Monday
night's win also marked the end of Andy Cole's mini-goal drought.

Cole's sweetly-executed equaliser ended a seven-match barren run and it was
only his second league goal this year.

Johnsen claimed that once again Cole, who was runner-up to Dennis Bergkamp
in the PFA Player of the Year award, had demonstrated what a fine striker he

``Even though he had not been scoring he had still been creating goals for
others,'' said Johnsen.

``Obviously for a striker it is important to score goals and his goal
against Blackburn showed he is a very good striker.''

Subject:     Fergie Supports Liverpool Challenge? (PA)

      By David Anderson, PA Sport

Alex Ferguson wants to see Liverpool make a late surge for a Champions'
League place.

No, the Manchester United manager has not finally cracked under the

Instead he feels it would help his side's title hopes if their fiercest
rivals were involved in the tussle for the top spots.

Gary Pallister has even gone as far as saying that he feels Liverpool could
still mount an 11th hour challenge to United and Arsenal in the championship

The Merseysiders could have a big say in the destiny of the Premiership
crown because they still have to play the top two sides.

Liverpool's former United midfielder Paul Ince has refused to hoist the
white flag in the title race and he even claims victory at Old Trafford on
Good Friday would re-launch their bid.

A win for Liverpool would see them close the gap on leaders United to nine
points and they have two games in hand. The Reds are due to play Arsenal at
Anfield on May 6 and they are desperate to end their disappointing season on
a high by at least qualifying for the Champions' League.

Ferguson is well aware of this, but he is quite happy to see Liverpool push
United and Arsenal all the way to the finishing line.

"Obviously we've got them at Old Trafford on Friday and I hope they get
involved because they have got Arsenal at home," he said.

"They will be desperate at least to get second place and that's a big
incentive to a lot of teams.

"I would welcome them into the fray - if they can get into it - but most
importantly we must do the job ourselves."

Ferguson knows Liverpool will need little motivation for Friday's game which
is always one of the biggest games of the season.

He is anxious that come the last week of the season Roy Evans' side will be
just as determined to beat the Gunners.

 PA Sporting Life

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