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Allardyce on..... Manchester United

Filed: Wednesday, 17th April 2013
By: Staff Writer No.2

The boss looks back on a fine performance against the champions-elect – and rues yet another generous refereeing decision in their favour in tonight's post-match press conference which we bring to you exclusively in full.....

Sam, it was a good point but you must be a little bit disappointed that their equaliser was offside?

Yes, of course. It’s a big decision that’s possibly taken a famous victory away from us. To play as well as we did today and to score the type of goals we scored – certainly the second goal from Mo Diame, and when Man United came back it could be expected because of how good they are but when you see the offside goal it’s bitterly disappointing. At the end of the day it’s a terrific performance by the players. It’s fantastic in terms of how well they’ve played at home all season. Another precious point against the team who are going to be the new Barclays Premier League champions. Everyone’s gone home very happy but when they get home and see the offside goal they’ll be a bit disappointed as I am. It could have perhaps been a famous victory but there you go. I’d have settled for a point before the game. I’m very very pleased with the performance and I hope they can keep it up from now to the end of the season.

Sam, when you feel so aggrieved by decisions do you speak to the referee after the games?

I ask them to go and have a look at the mistake that they’ve made. At the end of the day they shouldn’t have made that type of mistake. The level of football has got to be equalled by the level of the officials that are in charge of the game. If it’s what I consider to be an easy decision to give and he hasn’t given it then it’s a major decision that’s gone against us. In the end we’ve gained a point off a very very good performance. We’ve only lost four at home all season. We’ve been great all season at home. The fans have been fantastic at home all season. Even when we’ve lost those games they’ve appreciated the effort that we’ve put in to try and win them. Away from home it’s been a different story – there have been times when we’ve been poor and not done as well as we should have done. This highlights how good we’ve been here.

Sam, you mentioned on your tv interview a minute ago that you had a shot yourselves after a couple of minutes when the linesman’s flag went straight up. That must be frustrating for you?

That’s what he’s got to look at and analyse. That’s what his bosses have got to do for him. His coaches have got to coach him properly. That’s why they’re professional these days. They need a pat on the back when they’ve made the big call but they also need coaching when they haven’t made a right call. How can we coach you so that next time around you get it right not wrong.

Nice to see Mark Noble back again…

Yeah, it’s been a long time for Mark but Gary O’Neil has had a fantastic spell while Mark’s been out. We’ve only lost two of the last nine now. So it’s been a great period for Gary who has been patiently waiting. It’s going to be a difficult decision for me on Saturday – whether it’s going to be Gary O’Neil or Mark Noble. Those are the decisions I like to have because you want to have your players fit and available for selection.

Sam Alex Ferguson was also discussing the officials. Not surprisingly he didn’t notice their second goal was offside. He did suggest that Andy Carroll should have been sent off for his collision with David De Gea..

I don’t agree with that. At the very worst it’s a yellow card. Andy’s committed to going for the header and he can’t stop. You can’t commit at a corner and stop dead. As you’ll see on your [Highway] code on the road if you’re travelling at 60mph it takes you 300 yards to stop. So when Andy’s travelling at 15mph he’s not going to be able to stop [laughter]. That happens. Red card? Never for me. Yellow? Perhaps.

Did you ask Carroll to target De Gea today?

No not Andy. We had three in there – Vaz Te, Nolan – who’s very good at it – and Winston Reid. Andy and James Collins were there to attack the ball. The other three were there to put a little pressure on the goalkeeper.

Is that right – 300 yards?

[Laughter] Thanks guys!

NB - We're not sure if Manchester United sent a representative to the post match press conference this time round. They often decide that they can't be bothered and we decided that we had better things to do than hang about on the off chance that they might do so this time.

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