Fergie fears United could regret Fulham frustration

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2010, 10:53 AM IST

London: Sir Alex Ferguson conceded
Manchester United could live to regret their frustrating 2-2
draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Nani`s late penalty miss denied Ferguson`s side the
opportunity to establish a 3-1 lead with six minutes remaining
and was punished when Fulham defender Brede Hangeland headed
home an equaliser in the 89th minute.

United manager Ferguson admitted his side hardly deserved
to claim all three points after failing to build on Paul
Scholes`s low drive that gave the visitors a 12th minute lead
and paid credit to Fulham`s resilience in fighting back.

But Ferguson believes Nani`s penalty, which was saved by
Fulham keeper David Stockdale, proved to be the turning point
and expressed his surprise the Portugal winger had taken the
kick when Ryan Giggs was on the pitch.

And, with Chelsea already in fine form after winning
their first two matches 6-0, Ferguson knows losing touch with
the champions at this early stage could be costly.

"You don`t want to be dropping silly points and we
dropped silly points here," he said. "We can`t escape that.
There was an opportunity to go 3-1 ahead with three minutes
left and we didn`t take it.”

"I don`t think we deserved to be in front at 2-1 but when
you get the opportunity to seal the game with that penalty you
should be taking it.”

"It was a missed opportunity I feel and it galvanised
them, got the crowd up and they scored the equaliser in the
end. In fairness to them they were the better team in the
second half.”

"When we got that second goal I thought we`ve escaped
here. To miss a penalty kick to make it 3-1, you`re throwing
two points away there I`m afraid.”

"I thought Ryan should have taken it. In the last game we
played against Tottenham at home Ryan scored two penalty kicks
and Nani was on the pitch the same day."

Wayne Rooney missed the game because of illness but
Ferguson expects the England striker to return next week when
West Ham visit Old Trafford.

"Wayne has a virus," he said. "The problem is he turned
up on Saturday with it and he had no chance in 24 hours.”

"If it has been a Thursday or Friday we may have been
able to patch him up. Sometimes these viruses are 24 hour
things and that could have been the case but there was no
attempt to see if he could recover from this."

In Rooney`s absence, Javier Hernandez was partnered with
Dimitar Berbatov and the United manager believes the Mexican
will make a bigger impact when his team-mates familiarise
themselves with his style of play.

Bureau Report