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JUANDE'S WORDS

Posted on 6 February 2008  - 12:00

Juande Ramos insists our performances against Manchester United have proved that we can compete with the best.

Juande Ramos insists our performances against Manchester United have proved that we can compete with the best.

We played against the reigning champions twice in a week with a 3-1 defeat in the FA Cup on January 27 followed by United snatching a 1-1 draw in injury time in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

We certainly deserved more than the 3-1 loss in the FA Cup tie as we took the lead and missed key chances at 1-1. However, the game changed with Michael Dawson's dismissal and subsequent penalty converted by Cristiano Ronaldo, but the 10 men still managed to strike the woodwork with five minutes left.

We were even more unfortunate at the Lane as Dimitar Berbatov’s 21st minute goal looked set to hand us maximum points until Michael Dawson went in for Nani’s corner with Carlos Tevez and the ball flew in. That goal came in the fourth minute of added time and there was only time to restart before the final whistle.

“To play against Manchester United, who are at the top of their game in Europe and at the top of the league table, is very difficult,” reflected Juande.

“We’ve played two matches against them recently - one we lost but played well and another that we drew but had possibilities of securing a victory."

We've lost five games out of 24 since Juande took charge of his first game against Blackpool on October 31, moved from 18th up to 11th in the league, made it to the Carling Cup Final and progressed to the Round of 32 in the UEFA Cup.

“We’re satisfied with the progress we’ve made but we’re not going to settle for that, we want to continue to improve," he added.

“The team has a lot of possibilities with cup competitions coming up as well and these games and results are good for us as it proves we can compete with the best.”

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