What The Papers Say - 20 April

What The Papers Say - 20 April

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Independent

 

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson insisted today that he has no regrets about his controversial team selection for the penalty shootout FA Cup semi-final defeat by Everton.


United resume their Premiership title defence against Portsmouth at Old Trafford on Wednesday and Ferguson will select the strongest side available.

"Trying to deal with the tiredness after Wembley, especially after extra-time, was always going to be the issue," Ferguson told a news conference.

"But there is enough freshness in the rest of the squad to be alright on Wednesday, that's how we planned it.

"We're coming to the period when it's game after game after game, it's all go now. Hopefully, I'll pick the right teams and I can understand how there would be some criticism because it didn't work for us yesterday.

"But I'm absolutely convinced I picked the right team. I've no regrets about it at all."

Although not using it as an excuse for the loss to Everton on Sunday, Ferguson also joined in the condemnation of the Wembley pitch.

"The issue for the FA is that it is used for other things," said Ferguson. "People told me they had speedway or motor cycles on it so it is difficult to bed the pitch down. It makes it a terrible pitch.

"It looked heavy and slow on Saturday and that's the feeling our players had on Sunday. Spongy was the word they used."

Having rested so many senior players against Everton, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, Ferguson may see Arsene Wenger do the same when Arsenal travel to Liverpool, United's closest challengers, on Tuesday.

"I don't know what Arsene will be thinking about the game," said Ferguson. "But no matter what, Arsenal always try. That's the mantra of Arsene himself, he's a winner.

"I'm not concerning myself with that game, I'm concerning myself with my own team."

Daily Mail

 

Tim Cahill paid tribute to Guus Hiddink but the Everton star is determined to make sure Chelsea's manager suffers FA Cup disappointment.

The Toffees reached the final of the famous old tournament by beating Manchester United on penalties while Chelsea dumped Arsenal on Saturday.

Australian Cahill, who missed his penalty at Wembley, played for Hiddink during the 2006 World Cup.

'Guus Hiddink is a genius - that's the simple way of putting it,' he said. 'He is one of those managers that is always thinking two steps ahead and it seems to work before he has even done it.

'There was a lot of pressure with him taking that job but he seems to have taken it in his stride. For anyone who knows him, they know it's not a fluke.

'He is an exceptional manager. He knows exactly what he wants. It's not a fluke that he has always done well with every big club or international team he has been with.'
Everton have already beaten Liverpool, Aston Villa and United in this season's competition and Cahill vowed his team-mates will not be daunted by facing Chelsea twice in six weeks, starting with Wednesday's League game at Stamford Bridge.

He said: 'As a team, Chelsea have got that self belief. They play to the end so we know its going to be difficult but its not going to be as difficult as some of the games we have had so far. Its a big pitch, a big stadium and just another test of our character.'
Didier Drogba will be one of the main threats to Everton and has admitted he owes his stunning form to not rushing his return from a knee injury last summer.

He took his goal tally to nine from his last 11 games with the winner against Arsenal on Saturday.

The Ivory Coast international missed the whole of summer training and said: 'I'm really happy that in July I took the right decision not to go to pre-season because I needed to rest, I needed to work well on my knee and my legs to come back strong. That was the sacrifice I did in the beginning of the season and it's paying dividends now.'

 

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