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FAN'S EYE VIEW: Old Trafford cup clash felt like pre-season friendly

PUBLISHED: 12:33 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:51 07 September 2010

BY MIKE McKINLEY In the end it wasn t a weakened team at Old Trafford, and we managed to put up a decent show even if the television pundits were ready to hammer us for lack of fight. It was an odd game, at times with the feel of a pre-season friendly – certainly both s

In the end it wasn't a weakened team at Old Trafford, and we managed to put up a decent show even if the television pundits were ready to hammer us for lack of fight.

It was an odd game, at times with the feel of a pre-season friendly - certainly both sides looked to have gears in reserve if actually needed - and despite the stronger than expected side there was still the feeling that exiting the FA Cup probably suited us at this stage.

Certainly there was a bit more spirit against Stoke City on Tuesday night where we collected a vital Premier League three points with one of our best performances of the season.

If there were question marks about commitment at the weekend, they were answered this time, with Luka Modric in particular covering every blade of grass.

The Defoe/Pavlyuchenko partnership continued to look promising, with the link up for our second goal particularly pleasing and, dare I say it, a little Sheringham-esque from the Russian.

With goalscoring our major issue at home up to now, these two at least look capable of putting that right.

Ultimately, it will be points gained on the road that will determine whether we do enough to get out of trouble, and Harry Redknapp's shopping list has brought in the bite and experience that should serve us well in places like Bolton.

Carlo Cudicini instantly brought an assurance between the sticks that will hopefully (and paradoxically) ease the pressure on Heurelho Gomes to play through injuries, while the bite and dynamism of Wilson Palacios will give us something the midfield has seemed short of so often.


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