Ferguson targets FA Cup success
Updated: 2013-01-28 05:47
By Agence France-Presse in Manchester, England (China Daily)
Manchester United's English defender Chris Smalling (top) vies with Fulham's Hugo Rodallega during their English FA Cup match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England on Saturday. United won, 4-1. "Certainly today they have done very well," United manager Alex Ferguson said. Andrew Yates / Agence France-Presse
Manchester United manager wants to add a 12th title this year
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed his burning desire to help his club add to its record 11 FA Cup Final successes this year.
United has won the trophy more times than any other clubs but has not done so since 2004, meaning Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher are the only players on the current first-team squad with a winner's medal to their name while with United.
Giggs was the only starter from that trio, scoring an early goal as United easily dealt with Fulham 4-1 in a fourth round victory against Fulham, and Ferguson said his players are keen to bring their barren run to an end.
"I hope this is the year that changes," Ferguson said. "Certainly today they have done very well.
"Rio Ferdinand has never won an FA Cup medal and we've got to do something about that.
"This was a good performance. We respected Fulham, as you can see from the fact we put out a very strong team."
Giggs scored a second-minute penalty, almost 20 years to the day since his first FA Cup goal for the club, to put United in control before Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez, twice, put United 4-0 in front after only 66 minutes.
Aaron Hughes headed a late consolation for the visitors, but United reached the last 16 of the competition with a minimum of fuss.
"The FA Cup means a lot," said four-time winner Giggs. "We've not done as well as we should have done the last eight or nine years, and we have a lot of players who are desperate to win it.
"The history we've got in the competition, we should be there, getting to finals - hopefully this will be our year."
The clinical performance of Hernandez and Rooney also had Ferguson claiming his current four-man strike force of Rooney, Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie is on a par with his forwards from the famous 1999 treble-winning squad, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham.
"The four in '99 were fantastic players, you couldn't possibly criticize any of them, but we've got four players today who are equally as good," Ferguson said.
"What I'm really pleased about is Chicharito got two today so he's up to 14, Wayne got one. If we get those two and Robin in the 20-plus mark, then we're definitely in business."
Ferguson also confirmed that Rooney, who has missed ten penalties in his career including two this season, has been relieved of penalty-taking duties, with Giggs proving himself up to the task against Fulham.
Four different United players have missed penalties this season and Giggs would appear to be the man "on the spot", for the time being at least.
"Ryan is probably one of our best penalty kick takers to be honest," Ferguson said. "I think it's fair, with Wayne missing a penalty it was time to give him a break.
"He'll come back to it, there's no doubt about that because the one thing about Wayne is that it doesn't faze him if he misses a penalty - he has a fantastic temperament for that."