Date: 2nd February 2006 at 7:23pm
Written by:

Mark Hughes was fuming this morning after Sir Alex labelled his side a set of cloggers!

Ferguson accused Hughes’ side of ‘foul after foul after foul’, and then later stated: ‘I don’t think they played any football at all.’

Ferguson: ‘Mark Hughes has had criticism and I couldn’t defend that. They’re difficult to play against and stopped the game all the time.’

Hughes: ‘It was a great advert for Premiership football – great goals, great incidents, comedy errors and two teams trying to win the game. It was also a great performance and a great result for us, and most people enjoyed the game – with a few eminent exceptions to that.

‘That was the one disappointment for me on the night because I’m not sure where Sir Alex is coming from, and it’s disappointing to hear such comments again.

‘It’s also disappointing he had to single out some of my players and try to put a slant on the game which I felt wasn’t there.

‘I think possibly on reflection, if Sir Alex is watching a video of the game which he usually does afterwards, he would probably like to revise his opinion. I can appreciate his emotions were probably high immediately after the game because I’ve been in those situations myself.

‘Sometimes your view is clouded by the events, and if the game has gone against you then that further shapes your opinion. But I felt the comments were unwarranted and harmful to what we are trying to do here.

‘We’ve spent over 12 months trying to turn around people’s opinions of us, and this season we’ve done that. We’ve done it by playing well, playing progressively, winning games and scoring great goals.

‘I just feel somebody as high profile as Sir Alex coming out with some of the comments he made puts us on the backfoot again. I think one of his (Ferguson) comments was that he couldn’t defend my team. Well, I don’t need anyone to defend my team.’