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02:38

Ferguson Explains Emotions Following United Draw

Duncan Ferguson says Everton’s players fought like “warriors” to claim a point at Manchester United on Sunday – and the Blues’ draw underlined their ability to “compete with the best”.

A number of players were ruled out with injuries and illness, forcing caretaker manager Ferguson into a personnel overhaul eight days after he’d orchestrated Everton’s 3-1 victory over Chelsea.

Ferguson remained faithful to his preferred 4-4-2 formation, however, asking central defender Mason Holgate to step into midfield.

Everton seized the advantage when Victor Lindelof prodded into his own net nine minutes before half-time.

But United hit back on 77 minutes, Mason Greenwood squeezing a low 20-yard strike inside Jordan Pickford’s left post.

If Ferguson was slightly rueful over seeing striker Greenwood snatch away two points, his overall emotion was one of satisfaction at the mighty effort invested by his side.

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04:07 Sun 15 Dec 2019

FERGUSON: WE SHOWED WE CAN COMPETE WITH THE BEST

Boss speaks to evertontv after United draw.


“I am very happy overall, a little bit disappointed we couldn’t hang on… but it is a fantastic point,” Ferguson told evertontv.

“I think the 4-4-2 causes other team problems, you can get pressure on the ball and it worked really, really well.

“They [players] are fighting for us, fighting for the Club and fighting for myself and I could not be prouder of them.

“They boys were tremendous, they were warriors out there.

“This shows we can compete against the best teams in the league if we put in the work, which we are.

“We have the quality and good players, they keep a good shape and defend well.

“You need to ride your luck but I think we have a very strong team, we make sure we keep a good shape and work from there.”

Ferguson had ruled out Morgan Schneiderlin and Theo Walcott 48 hours before the game, that pair stricken with calf injuries.

His options reduced further on the eve of the contest with both Djibril Sidibe and Gylfi Sigurdsson falling ill.

Holgate, then, was forced into a midfield position he’d not occupied since he was an under-18 footballer at Barnsley, while Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina, Bernard and Tom Davies all returned to the starting XI.

Everton suffered another blow when Lucas Digne hobbled off midway through the opening half.

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01:59 Sun 15 Dec 2019

HIGHLIGHTS: MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 EVERTON

Resilient Toffees battle out point at Old Trafford.


His replacement, Leighton Baines, coming on four days after celebrating his 35th birthday, had played only eight minutes of competitive football this season, in last week’s 3-1 success against Chelsea.

Everton were at full stretch to preserve their lead before United equalised. The visitors nevertheless retained a significant threat on the break and following Greenwood’s goal Alex Iwobi drew a very good stop from goalkeeper David De Gea.

“You are fearing the worst towards the end,” said Ferguson, who had no news on the conditions of Digne, Sidibe and Sigurdsson ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup meeting with Leicester.

“You know the boys have put in such a great shift and Manchester United will come on to you.

“They are a very good team and were at home and have lost only one home game this season.

“We were fighting fires everywhere and Leighton was incredible.

“He will savour these moments when he retires.

“He is such a tremendous player and great ambassador for this football club.”

On Holgate’s contribution and his side’s purposeful and industrious display, Ferguson added:

“Everyone was dropping like flies, we had a lot of sickness – but I like a 4-4-2 and thought Mason would do a good job in midfield and was proven correct.

“I thought he was tremendous, they all were.

"Alex Iwobi was incredible, the distances he was covering,

“Richarlison always runs himself into the ground, we have a fantastic striker [Dominic Calvert-Lewin] who will chase everything, centre-backs getting in blocks and headers and Seamus coming in and playing like he did.

“All round it was a tremendous effort.

“The fans have been excellent towards me and they know how much effort the boys are putting in, I am enjoying it [being in charge] because we are getting results.”

 

 

 

 

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