Last updated : 27 January 2003 By editor

Ferguson said before Sunday’s match: "Most of us in the game recognise the qualities of the man. He has shown great dignity in handling the situation. The manner in which he has behaved after each disappointing result, he deserves the chance of his club being in the Premiership next season.

"Despite their position, West Ham have played with freedom. They have quality in their team and they have always played football. That's not changed in the games I've watched them. That was the case when they played us a few weeks ago."

"The FA Cup might be the fillip they need in terms of a different type of competition.They know the most important thing for them is to be in the Premier Division. A cup run might be all right but sometimes you can be lodged between two stones." And then get crushed.

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