Fergie takes positives from draw at Old Trafford
Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Manchester United's Old Trafford draw with Chelsea has done more good than harm to their Premiership title dream.
Although the Red Devils were unable to fully capitalise on the first-half lead Louis Saha gave them against the champions and record the win which would have sent them six points clear, Ferguson still found plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
Not least was the way his team matched up against a side who have swept all before them on the domestic front for the past two years yet rarely looked like breaking down United's solid defences until Ricardo Carvalho nodded home Frank Lampard's corner.
'We have done ourselves a lot of good because have proved we are in the right place league-wise and shown we can compete with Chelsea,' said Ferguson.
'Maybe we sat back a little bit too much in the second half, which gave them the territorial advantage. But until the goal I felt we were defending comfortably.
'It was a better result for Chelsea than ourselves but we can take a lot from it and the players' confidence should not be affected.'
Saha was at the top of the list of United players who departed the action with their heads held high.
Five days after his spot-kick woe at Celtic in the Champions League, the Frenchman showed no mental scars, firing his side in front in superb fashion just before the half hour.
The goal, his ninth of the season, went some way to proving he does have the fortitude to recover from his miserable night in Glasgow when many felt he might not.
'Louis has been like a caged animal in training,' revealed Ferguson.
'He was bursting to play and had been taking penalty after penalty, which shows his eagerness to make up for what happened at Celtic Park.
'I never had a worry about him. He is a mature player and his pace, strength and movement are vital to the way we play.'
Saha did limp off late on though, as did Cristiano Ronaldo, who went down under a heavy challenge from Ashley Cole.
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Park Ji-sung already sidelined and Alan Smith yet to prove his fitness, Ferguson can hardly afford to lose any more forwards.
However, with Everton due at Old Trafford on Wednesday, he has little time to get the pair fit.
'We will have to wait and see,' he said.
'We will do our best to get them fit for Wednesday. We have to go again. That is what champions are made of.'