Derby could bring pain and pleasure
- Fri 27 Apr 2012, 9:30AM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
With Monday's Manchester derby looming large, Sir Alex Ferguson's Thursday press conference gives the written and online media plenty to get their teeth stuck in to.
The United boss provides a great line for the world's scribblers, here's the Daily Post's version:
"Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he is looking forward to Monday's derby clash against Manchester City - despite admitting you would have to be "a confirmed masochist" to enjoy the intensity of such a game.
"Sir Alex Ferguson has billed the visit to Manchester City as a Barclays Premier League title decider, with Manchester United three points ahead of their rivals going into the match.
"'You would have to be a confirmed masochist to enjoy it,' said Ferguson. 'But we are looking forward to it and the players will be fully prepared for it.'"
Another zinger from the presser was the assertion that the City games are now the biggest on the United calendar; it must have been good, as that one's shot around the world to the land of the long white cloud.
TVNZ's take: "Manchester City have become more important rivals to Manchester United than old foes Liverpool, manager Alex Ferguson said ahead Tuesday's (NZT) crucial Premier league derby match.
"They are our direct opponents now. Manchester City are up against us to win titles. That is what our focus is on, the team who can stop us winning," he told reporters today.
"We have to get used to playing Manchester City in important games. They are not going away.
"The support they have means we are going to be playing them in a lot of big games - finals maybe. We already have done in semi-finals and an important cup tie this season."
And as we pointed out yesterday, your trusty MCFC web site provides good material in the build-up to Monday - of course! Micah Richards' interview is seized upon, and casting our virtual net far and wide we'll plump for the Thurrock Gazette's version:
"Manchester City defender Micah Richards claims there has "never been a better time" to beat arch rivals Manchester United.
"Having come through the City Academy, Richards is all too familiar with the long years the club have spent in their neighbours' shadow. City are bidding to change all that by wresting the Barclays Premier League from United's grasp in the coming weeks and Monday's clash between the two clubs is absolutely vital.
"City can reclaim top spot in the table with two games remaining with a victory, and Richards told the club's official website, www.mcfc.co.uk: 'Because United have always been better than us and have always had the bragging rights, it just makes it a little bit more special.'"