Date: 2nd May 2006 at 10:41am
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Ferguson has tried to reach Eriksson on a number of occasions since Saturday to speak United’s failure to overcome Middlesbrough without Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford has put the pressure on that runners-up spot.

Even with strikers of the class of Louis Saha and Ruud van Nistelrooy in their line-up, United lacked the guile to grab the winner which would have all-but sealed an automatic place in next season’s Champions League group stages.

Instead, United must now beat Charlton on Sunday to ensure they stave off the challenge of Liverpool, with van Nistelrooy hoping to atone for the penalty miss which brought a reaction from his manager which hardly suggested the pair are presently seeing eye-to-eye.

Ferguson: ‘It was disappointing because we expected Ruud to score.

‘But it was not a good penalty. He has missed probably half a dozen in total and that was a bad one.’