Date: 23rd December 2005 at 2:06pm
Written by:



Sir Alex Ferguson’s men find themselves nine points adrift of defending champions Chelsea, despite collecting a massive 37 points from their opening 17 games. A total they have bettered only three times in the past decade, a period which brought six league titles to Old Trafford.

The closest United got to matching Chelsea’s current tally of 46 was two seasons ago, when they amassed 40 points in the same period yet still lost the title to Arsenal after collapsing in the second half of the season following Rio Ferdinand’s lengthy ban for failing to take a drugs test.

Gary Neville: ‘We feel as though we are doing okay. Over the whole season, our form in the league has not been overly bad. If you look at our points tally, our victories and our number of losses, they would not be below par for this time of the season.

‘We have lost two games so far. In some seasons we have lost far more than that and still gone on to win championships. But we must also recognise the bar has been raised and we have to raise our standard with that.

‘Obviously, the title is out of our hands just now because Chelsea are winning every single match they play.
All we can do is concentrate on our own job, get the victories we need and hope something happens in terms of Chelsea dropping points.’