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Oct, 2, 2012

Ferguson worried by slow starts

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been left "concerned" by his side's slow start to matches this season but is confident an improvement is imminent.

• Fergie on diving

United suffered a 3-2 defeat in the Premier League on Saturday after Tottenham Hotspur raced into a two-goal lead before half-time, as the Red Devils struggled to cope with Spurs' energy and attacking play.

The Red Devils improved in the second period but were unable to salvage a point, meaning the club have now conceded nine goals in their opening six league matches.

Reflecting on their first-half performances to date ahead of Tuesday's Champions League match with CFR Cluj-Napoca, Ferguson said in the Telegraph: "You have to be concerned losing goals the way we did against Tottenham.

"We were well off the pace of the game and I don't think we won a tackle in the first half. Based on our first half against Southampton, the first half at Liverpool and first half on Saturday, we have some work to do in that respect.

"I think it will be the last time it happens. Fortunately, you saw the real Manchester United in the second half against Spurs, and that 45 minutes was probably our best performance of the season. But after the first half on Saturday I had plenty of concerns."

Ferguson was also asked about Europe's victory in the Ryder Cup on Sunday, but the Scot was none too pleased about being quizzed on golf. "Listen, listen. This is a press conference about a bloody football match," Ferguson said.

"You've got to go way over the top with your programme. I'm not answering that. We're here to talk about football. Christ."

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