IN the words of Sir Alex Ferguson it is ‘squeaky bum time,’ for the red and blue sides of Manchester. United could and should have had the title all but secured by now but a defeat to Wigan and a complete capitulation to Everton yesterday has left everything hanging in the balance.
City, inspired by the comeback of Tevez have gone about their work quietly and despite losing to Arsenal, they have impressed in the run in.
Next Monday could be a titanic battle for top spot. United go into the game three points clear of City but City have a superior goal difference. I thought the Reds were extremely poor defensively yesterday. Rafael and Evra are superb going forward but they left Evans and Ferdinand exposed on several occasions. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jones or Smalling feature at right back against City.
The build up to the game will be intriguing. I fear for United if they go with two up front and two out and out wingers. Everton made full advantage of their extra man in midfielder yesterday and it made a massive difference.
Ferguson is a wily old fox when it comes to mind games and perhaps he may have Mancini rattled already? The Italian has continually denied that City are in with a chance of the title but you can be sure that they message he conveys to the media and the message he is giving to his players is completely different.
In my opinion whoever wins next Monday will win the title. Folk are saying City have tougher fixtures ahead like a tricky trip to an in-form Newcastle but momentum is a great thing in football. Another win over their Manchester rivals would leave them with one hand on the Premier League trophy.
Closer to home it promises to be an exciting night at Hagan Park tomorrow evening. You have got to hand it to Coagh they have had a stunning season under experienced campaigners Stephen Uprichard and Noel Mitchell.
A famous run in the Irish Cup was brought to an abrupt halt by Linfield. However, the villagers got back down to business in the Championship 2 and have gone about their work quietly and found themselves top of tree once again.
Coagh had been at the top of the table earlier on in the season but after falling behind due to their cup exploits, they lost ground on Knockbreda.
Coagh had their own version ‘squeaky bum time,’ when they visited Breda Park for a do or die clash against Knockbreda. A smash and grab 2-1 victory put Coagh back into promotion contention. They followed this up with a 3-3 draw with 3rd placed Dundela and a 7-0 win over basement side Chimney Corner.
All of this has been done with a skeleton squad. Their climb back to the top looks even more impressive when you look at their injury list. Experienced campaigners such as Lamont, Park and Hawe have all been absent due to injury.
Like Manchester United, the destiny of the title lies in their hands. A win over Lurgan Celtic tomorrow night and they are promoted. A draw would see fourth placed Lurgan Celtic out of the running and leave Coagh, Dundela and Knockbreda facing a final day showdown. Who said local football was boring?
Kick off is 7pm at Hagan Park tomorrow night.