Date: 26th October 2006 at 1:23pm
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After scraping through in extra-time against Crewe Alexandra, United were once again lucky: they avoided all the big guns in the draw for the fourth round of the League Cup and will be massive favourites against Championship side Southend United – a team the Red Devils have never played against before in a competitive game!

Sir Alex Ferguson expects a tough match at Roots Hall, especially after last night’s struggle against Crewe, while his counterpart Steve Tilson was elated after learning the outcome of the draw.

‘It was typical of what you expect when you play sides like Crewe,’ he said. ‘Southend will be no different; they will have nothing to lose and it will be a very difficult game for us.’

For Southend, it will certainly be a big occasion amidst their struggle in the Championship so they must relish United’s visit.

‘It’s going to be such a memorable occasion for us,’ Shrimpers boss Steve Tilson told Southend’s official website. ‘We’ve never played Manchester United and they are top of the Premiership at the moment so we couldn’t have got a better draw, it’s just fantastic.’

‘They might have played a mixed side at Crewe but they still had some first team players out there. Whatever side a team of their quality puts out it is going to be full of stars.

‘Crewe were excellent and they should have taken it to penalties but they can be proud of their performance. Just think – Barrett versus Rooney, Ferdinand versus Eastwood, it’s going to be tremendous!’