Last updated : 08 January 2003 By Editor
Fergie thinks Rovers were better

"Blackburn were the better team, particularly in the second half," admitted the

Red Devils chief.

"They were confident, played good football and we found it difficult.

A passionless affair

"Overall it was a strange game. The first-half was lukewarm and it lacked the passion of a semi-final," he said.

"I'm sure the second leg will be different. We will have to play better and I think we will."

"It was a funny atmosphere actually it didn't seem to be like the semi-final of the cup to me. It lacked the passion that you've seen over the years and it never got going really for me. There will be a lot more passion in the game up there."

Denied by a boy

"It was a great block from the defender,'' admitted Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I actually thought it had hit the post. It means we have to go to Ewood Park and win but we are capable of that."

"Blackburn had the majority of decisions, so I don't think they can complain too much.

"I would also like to see the goal again because it looked like a sloppy one to concede, which is disappointing because the defenders had been doing well up to that point."

Vital second leg

"We need to win at Blackburn but I think we are capable of that.'

The midget's headed goal

"The defenders had being doing very well up until then but they went to sleep really. I haven't seen the goal, I will have to have a look at it again but it was a sloppy goal to lose."

Penalty decision

"I will have to see that again. It didn't look to me that the boy dived but I certainly thought that Blackburn got the majority of the decisions so I don't think Graeme can complain about the referee."

Tiring times

"We have played more games than anyone in Europe and in the League Cup in England and it is certainly hard work. The players have responded well and shown a good resilience to it. We'll get some days before the next game and then a week's rest before Chelsea."

Roy Keane

"He did some training this morning. I wouldn't have taken the risk of playing him tonight but he may make Saturday."

Sourness was a little fed up with the ref.

"I don't know how he can reach that decision and we will ask him to look at it again,"

"I actually thought the referee had a decent game overall but it wasn't a dive and it would be unfair if he had to miss the return game because of it."

The Blackburn chief feels he has unearthed a gem in McEveley, a Rovers trainee 12 short months ago.

"He is composed, aggressive, has a wonderful physique, is part Scottish and good looking - so he doesn't have too much going for him," smiled the former international.

"He was playing against the England captain in David Beckham and handled the situation well. He has a real chance of being a player."