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DRAWING THE POSITIVES

Posted on 2 February 2008  - 12:00

Despite conceding a heartbreaking late, late equaliser, Juande Ramos refused to see Saturday's draw against United as two points dropped.

Despite conceding a heartbreaking late, late equaliser, Juande Ramos refused to see Saturday's draw against United as two points dropped.

The reigning champions and title contenders - arriving at the Lane with10 wins in 11 league games - needed an unfortunate own goal from Michael Dawson to rescue a point.

Outstanding in central defence alongside Jonathan Woodgate, ‘Daws’ dived in with Carlos Tevez at the near post to meet Nani’s corner but could only divert the ball past Radek Cerny.

It was a hammer blow to the lads, who had worked tirelessly to both defend and try to add to the lead gained via Dimitar Berbatov’s deft finish after 21 minutes. United actually created very few clear-cut chances and Radek Cerny was forced to make only one save of note, a fine tip around at full stretch to deny Anderson.

“When you are playing against a team like Manchester United you can’t consider it two points dropped,” insisted Head Coach Juande.

“It is true that we were very close to winning but the game doesn’t end until the referee blows the final whistle. Obviously with it being the last corner of the match we were very unlucky to concede an own goal and that’s the result.

“The team was very solid. United had more possession but didn’t look like they were coming close to scoring but these things happen in football.

“You have to give credit to Manchester United and it was unfortunate for us in how the goal was scored.”

There was praise for Alan Hutton, who performed admirably on his debut just days after joining the club and grew stronger and stronger as the game went on.

“He played well considering it was his first game,” added Juande. “He’s only trained for two days so he hasn’t had a much of a chance to get to know his new team-mates.

“It was an interesting game for him and we’ll see him improving as he fits in and gets to know his team-mates more and more.”

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