Last updated : 22 January 2003 By Editor
From The Sun

Alex Ferguson believes he has gambled and won in his bid to make Manchester United kings of football again.

Old Trafford chief Ferguson insisted on eight of his frontline stars having operations this season to ensure they were fit for the second half of the campaign.

And Ferguson said: "We are showing a lot of freshness at a very important part of the season.

"We took a risk in terms of the injuries by getting operations done on all of them. We hoped that, by the time everyone was fit again, we would still be in a good position in all competitions.

"Well, that is how it has worked out. Now the likes of David Beckham, Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand - all of whom have been out for long periods - are looking good for the second half of the season.

"We decided to take the long view and I think we were right."

Fergie's troops travel to Ewood Park, knowing they must improve on the first-leg draw at Old Trafford if they are to reach the showpiece final in Cardiff on March 2.

The Old Trafford supremo admitted: "I know this is going to be a hard game.

"But we know the job we have to do if we want to get to a cup final."

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