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Talking United

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

David Pleat suspects that Manchester United's recent reverses could well spark a reaction from their players at some stage - with us next for the champions at Old Trafford on Saturday.

United suffered two demoralising defeats last week - an exit from the Champions League to Porto followed by a 4-1 loss in the Manchester derby. Two results that will have really hurt Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

The poor week sparked much media analysis and questions were posed asking why Sir Alex did not dip into the January market for a defender with Rio Ferdinand absent. David does not go along with this school of thought and points out that United have international defenders right across the back line.

"Their biggest chance this season appears to be in the FA Cup, whether it will be a pot-less one for them I don't know," pondered the acting boss of United's trophy prospects.

"I would say this, they have had their share of success and have been wonderful winners over a long period of time. They know all about winning so it is not such a bad thing that they have a little share of losing occasionally. It will surely spark a reaction from their players.

"They have quality, quality players all the way through the team, the highest scoring centre forward in van Nistelrooy and the best second striker, in my opinion, in Scholes. They also have the most combative midfield player in Roy Keane and young centre backs.

"They have players at the back that have played for England, people say they should buy someone but they have internationals right across the back. It is a learning process for them, if you make mistakes and learn from them it is not a problem."

On the man in the opposing dug-out tomorrow, David hopes that Sir Alex is in good health after having a pacemaker put in to solve a heart problem and says the long-serving boss has every characteristic a manager requires.

"I hope he is healthy as it is a demanding job that can drive you mad. He is very much a focal point of everything that happens at Manchester United and has good help around him with his staff.

"He is a bruiser and a winner, he's rough and tough, but nice and gentle too - he's everything really that a manager has to be."