Ferguson satisfied with another clean sheet
By Football News
Alex Ferguson has praised his team's concentration after Manchester United held out for a 1-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday.
Ferguson's team recorded their sixth clean sheet in succession in the English Premier League with their win away to Sunderland, tightening their grip at the top of the table.
The combination of improved concentration and more depth in defence is, according to the Manchester United manager, the reason for United's more resolute back four in the second half of the campaign.
"The concentration is much better," Ferguson told Sky Sports after the win at the Stadium of Light.
"Earlier in the season we were losing goals but we have got defenders back.
"Chris Smalling, Phil Jones coming back helps; Jonny Evans, Rio (Ferdinand) and Vida (Nemanja Vidic).
"Your selection, two from those five, makes it much easier for us."
Robin van Persie's deflected strike in the first half eventually proved the difference for United, who extended their lead over arch-rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, but the visitors had to weather a late comeback from Sunderland.
Having gotten through the game, Ferguson believes United are in a great position ahead of next week's derby against City.
"It was a battling performance by the players," Ferguson said.
"We picked up two or three injuries along the way and it was courage that got us through in the second half.
"It means we will go into the Man City game with at least a 15-point lead."
Meanwhile, Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill said he was satisfied with his players' performance in the second half but bemoaned the fact they only got going once they were behind.
"I can't fault my players for the way they played in the second half," O'Neill said.
"But we were too tentative in the first half and that comes from a lack of confidence from not winning games."