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Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager

Manchester United Premier League Championship Battle

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Wayne Rooney's 178 goals put him only one behind George Best's and Dennis Viollet's Man Utd total - and Ferguson believes he will go on to beat Bobby Charlton's United record of 249 total club goals. "It's fantastic. It will happen of course," the manager said of the striker who has 31 this campaign. "But it will eventually happen and it's a marvellous achievement."

Sir Alex Ferguson expressed concern that Ashley Young may earn a reputation for diving that could cost Manchester United a vital penalty in the future even though Young is genuinely fouled.

In United's past two games, against Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa, Young has reportedly taken dramatic falls on the pitch, winning United a spot-kick on each occasion.

The United manager defended Young by stating that each penalty was the correct decision - however the critism that he took a dive may affect future penalty calls.

"That's the point I'm making. It's the referees' assessment of it – it's the referees' decisions now, really. If it's a penalty kick it's a penalty kick. We didn't get one against Wigan in the week and we didn't scream from the rooftops. We realise it happens. You get bad decisions, you get good decisions and it evens itself out, believe me.

"Mark Halsey's absolutely perfectly right [against Villa] it's a penalty kick – absolutely no doubt. The only fault is that Ashley went down too easy but it's a penalty. If he doesn't stretch his foot out and take him, it's a goal. He's eight yards out, clear path to goal, goalkeeper's actually on his line. It's a goal."

"I watched the games this week – Real Madrid and Bayern Munich the other night – and it was absolutely ridiculous," the manager said. "Players diving and rolling about. Nothing approaching what Young is accused of and the way the press have reacted is because it's Manchester United. Absolutely no doubt about that.

"And you see it the other night in the Chelsea game. I think we are in an age of almost expecting it now. I've had a word with Ashley. He understands where we come from and hopefully that will make a difference."

Ferguson pointed to Ryan Giggs as a prime example of a United player who does not dive, saying the Welshman has won only five penalties in his two decades at the club. "If a player goes down and it's a clear penalty, it's a penalty kick.

"We have a player who has done that and he has been here 20 years. How many penalty kicks has Ryan Giggs got for Manchester United? That's a good quiz question? Five in 20 years. There's some record. You know why? Because his balance is good and he never goes down. That's the amazing thing about him."

Ferguson has high hopes that his side can continue to win in their down-to-th-wire battle to capture a 20th championship.

"There's good performers out on that field and they are playing with great determination, which you need to do at this time of the season," he said. "And they've got great experience of handling big game situations which we are going to face in the next few weeks. So I trust them, I let them get on with it. I think it's the right time to do that. They are a good bunch of lads, they want to win the league. Hopefully we can achieve what we want to do."

Previously Sir Alex Ferguson has critized Chelsea player Ashley Cole for a bad tackle against Chicharito.

“For me, it's a shocking tackle. I don't know why it wasn't a penalty,” remarked Man Utd boss, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fergie criticised the "shocking" tackle by Chelsea's Ashley Cole on Javier Hernandez that could rule the striker out for two weeks during  Man United's 3-1 win against Chelsea.

"It was a shocking tackle. Ashley Cole is very reckless at times. Being committed, you can sometimes go over the edge a bit.

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