Last updated : 09 May 2007 By Ed
Ferguson on the importance of Sunday's game over this evening.

"The West Ham game is a very important issue," said Ferguson.

"We have to respect our reputation.

"Alan Curbishley is a good friend of mine but he understands we have to respect the wishes of other managers.

"I get on very well with Paul Jewell and Alan Pardew as well. They deserve our best attention to the game and I will be picking a team to win on Sunday.

"I don't know what my team will be at Chelsea but there will be a lot of changes, simply because the players are so tired."

The squad players would have played even if the title hadn't been won.

"I know it would have been controversial but when you consider Chelsea's home record in the last few seasons, I could have played my best team and still lost," Ferguson admitted.

"I could have played all my youth team and kept my first-choice one for Sunday.

"In the event, I am glad we are going there as champions. It would have been some game if we weren't."

Accolades for the defence

"Everyone saw the difference it made to us defensively when Vidic and Ferdinand were back together at Manchester City on Saturday," said Ferguson.

"They were absolutely peerless. We have been looking for that foundation of strength in central defence for a long time.

"We have had some combinations but they have not lasted as long as Pallister and Bruce but we hope these two do."