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Harry's United verdict

Posted on 24 January 2009  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp spoke about the 'balancing act' required at Old Trafford after seeing us narrowly lose out 2-1 to United in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Harry's United verdict

Harry Redknapp spoke about the 'balancing act' required at Old Trafford after seeing us narrowly lose out 2-1 to United in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The manager was generally pleased with our performance in the fourth round encounter.

Roman Pavlyuchenko headed us into an early lead and we looked comfortable enough until two goals in less than two minutes 10 minutes before the break - the first an unlucky deflection off Tom Huddlestone - put the home side in the driving seat.

We carved out what few chances there were in a somewhat flat second half as Gareth Bale fired wide, David Bentley flashed a shot into the side-netting and Giovani missed the best of the lot from six yards.

"We made a bright start, scored early but then had a bad two-minute spell where we conceded the two goals," reflected Harry.

"I don't think our keeper had a shot to save in the second half.

"There was very little goalmouth action in the second half, both teams dropped off when the other team had the ball, passed it and kept it but without creating too much."

Harry was asked why we didn't put United under more pressure.

He responded: "People who don't understand the game say 'why don't you attack more' but it's very difficult.

"You have to have the ball to put them under pressure, you have to open up to put them under pressure and when you open up, that's when you get beaten four or five. It's a balancing act when you come to Old Trafford."

Of the pre-match injury doubts, Vedran Corluka, Luka Modric and Michael Dawson were able to start, although Luka was replaced by Gio at half-time. We were still without the likes of Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Aaron Lennon, Darren Bent, Jamie O'Hara and Jermaine Jenas while loanee striker Fraizer Campbell was ineligible against his parent club.

"We've got injuries and I stuck two kids on in the second half (Gio, Adel Taarabt) who I really haven't seen a lot of," added Harry.

"We had some tired players as well - don't forget we played extra time on Wednesday at Burnley - and some inexperienced players. We had to patch up Corluka to play as well and then we lost Modric at half-time and he's important for us.

"I tried to get a result but it's not easy. They've got injuries as well but they've still got the likes of Ronaldo, Scholes, Carrick, Tevez and Berbatov.

"It's okay saying let's open up and attack them but we didn't have Lennon and players like that make a difference in terms of taking the game to the opposition.

"We did our best and I thought we did okay.

"At the end of the day we haven't got beaten 6-1, we lost 2-1 and had one or two opportunities to get a draw out of the game."