Date: 21st March 2009 at 8:31pm
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I’ve already expressed my belief that no matter how much we analyse today’s defeat at Fulham, the buck stops with the manager. Well at least he did not deny that our first half performance was simply not acceptable for a side with title aspirations.

‘I was disappointed with the first half, I must admit,’ he told MUTV. ‘We didn’t get started at all and that’s cost us the game.

‘They were lively and they got stuck in, and we expected that. They lost 4-0 to us a few weeks ago so we expected a response from them. We didn’t meet that challenge. I think we can thank Edwin van der Sar for keeping us in it.

‘In fairness to the team, in the second half they responded to the half-time talking and I think we were unlucky not to get something out of it. Their goalkeeper’s made some terrific saves but we’ve missed a few chances ourselves.

‘It’s inevitable that one of their counter attacks will put you in trouble, and that cost us the game. We did really well and we were unlucky. If they’d have got the goal back then they may have even won it. In fairness they kept going and good credit to them for that.’

That’s right – but hopefully he’ll also expect that the Premier League is not the place to conduct bizarre experiments in. I mean, honestly, Scholes and Giggs in central midfield…

This team is still full of brilliant players – but you can’t just deploy them in any random position and send them out without sufficient instructions. Or you can but be prepared for results like the last two.

Fergie also said that the Aston Villa game would be crucial – well that’s certain. We’ve got to win that or else our confidence could be terminally shattered. And then, of course, comes Porto…