Date:Saturday November 24 2007
Sir Alex Ferguson blasted referee Mark Clattenburg but admitted his team were far from their best at Bolton.
The 1-0 reverse at the Reebok has been the first defeat since August and it understandably left Fergie fuming. He was particularly disappointed with Clattenburg who did not do enough to stop Bolton kicking our players off the park.
'It was a feisty game, I think they set an aggressive tone. You look for some protection from the referee, we didn't get it, and it became a shambles in the first-half. There was foul after foul after foul.
'I told him exactly what I thought and he didn't like it. Some referees don't like the truth. I just told him how bad I thought he was in the first half, the game was becoming a shambles.
'They battled for their lives, they're down at the bottom of the league, we knew that is part of their game. I thought we should have got more protection from the referee, but we didn't get that and it was a battle.
'We got embroiled ourselves before half time, giving silly fouls away, which we didn't want to do. We wanted to keep the momentum of the game going, keep passing the ball and use our intelligence to beat teams like that.'
Well, that intelligence was nowhere to be seen until the last 20 minutes and that's the biggest problem, Fergie admitted.
'Fortunately in the second half, Bolton cooled down. They defended very deeply, we had a lot of possession without really making any chances and you can't say we deserved to win the game because we didn't make enough chances to win it.
'We do have to take defeats as part of the game, we have to bounce back, because we've got the players with the quality and determination to do that.
'Hopefully we can go on another long run like we did after our last defeat to Manchester City.'
Hopefully. But with Arsenal's relentless winning run and their astonishing luck and even more baffling late goals... I think they will win it. Prove me wrong, guys.
Date:Saturday November 24 2007
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