Last updated : 15 January 2006 By Ed


"In games like this, you need the referee and linesmen to be strong but we didn't get that,' said Ferguson, whose temper was tested even further by the second-half dismissal of Cristiano Ronaldo for a woeful lunge at Andy Cole moments after the Portugal winger had been chopped down by Jordan.

"It was very disappointing.

"He did not get a foul for the bad tackle just before and was probably frustrated. But it was more rash than vicious. He didn't touch the player, in fact he didn't get anywhere near him, yet the referee decided it was a red card. Maybe he should look at it again.

"The problem is interpretation. On Wednesday, Wayne Rooney got caught by a knee high tackle yet there wasn't even a booking. Every referee is different and we know Steve Bennett, we know him.

"I've seen the replays and the first goal was definitely offside. "We were unlucky there, but to be fair the defending was poor on both occasions. The sending-off was disappointing. Cristiano didn't get a free-kick for a foul and got frustrated. What he did was rash rather than violent - he's not that type of player - but he didn't make contact."

He refuses to blame Evra:

"Maybe it was a bit of a gamble playing Patrice.

"I took him off because at 2-0 down I wanted to make sure we didn’t lose any more goals and John O’Shea has more experience of derby games.

"I am not singling anyone out. The defending was poor and that is what has cost us the game.

"We've been in very good form but in fairness we didn't play well enough in the first half.

"We gave the ball away to them too much and our play in the last-third just wasn't good enough.

"The crosses into the box were easy to deal with and we should be doing much better than that."


"It didn't look like a poor challenge and I didn't think it was a sending off.

"When people were talking about the game this week, it was as though we were Burton Albion.

"We are not Burton Albion. We have some great international players in our side. If we are on all firing on all cylinders we can beat anyone on any given day.

"Manchester United are a great club, one of the best in the world. They have the ability to spend £5million to bring in cover at left-back. That might be my entire transfer budget, which puts this result into perspective.

"We had taken one point out of the previous 12 and, to face United and put in a performance like that, I am really pleased for us.

"Our players were the ones who were up for a derby match, up for a real scrap.

"I've always had confidence in our players but can they stand up and say 'you're not rolling me over today'?"