Sir Alex Ferguson welcomes Chelsea's late title charge

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson's side hold a six-point lead going into the last five games

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has welcomed the challenge posed by Chelsea's late-season surge.

The champions are second in the Premier League, six points behind leaders United after taking 19 points from a possible 21 since the start of March.

"It is good to know someone is behind you. We cannot become complacent," Ferguson insisted.

"We can use our experience of years past in situations like this. Hopefully it will get us where we want to go."

Chelsea moved above Arsenal on goal difference in midweek after the Gunners dropped points at Tottenham and the top three are all in action again over the weekend.

In-form Everton travel to face United at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime, before Chelsea play West Ham at Stamford Bridge in the evening kick-off, while third-placed Arsenal go to Bolton on Sunday.

United still have to face both Chelsea and Arsenal in their final five league games, going to the Emirates Stadium on 1 May, before hosting Chelsea on 8 May.

And they could soon be boosted by the return of midfielder Darren Fletcher, who resumed training this week.

The Scotland captain has been sidelined for nine games with a virus and last featured in the 3-1 defeat by Liverpool on 6 March.

"Darren has had a good week and might be available in 10 days time," explained Ferguson. "He is a very important player to come back.

"In big games Darren has excelled over the years because he has the knowledge and discipline to carry out any job you want him to do.

"When he does come back he will go straight into the team."

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti believes his side can push the Red Devils close over the final weeks of the campaign.

"You can see how everything can go fast this season," he commented. "Two weeks ago, the situation looked one way, last week another way and a few days on, everything looks different again.

"We have another two games at home, which will be massive for us and we need to keep winning to maintain the pressure on everybody.

Ancelotti continued: "Arsenal have difficult games and obviously United have to play us and Arsenal, so there could possibly be six points [dropped by them].

"We play West Ham and then a big game against Spurs [on 30 April] and if we win both, the situation could change again. Let's see if we can take advantage."

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is also upbeat ahead of Saturdays game.

"It now seems like the beginning of the season again," said Cech. "When we get chances, We convert them.

"This is the way to win games because nobody seems to want to win the title. Everybody is dropping points, so goal difference will play a big part now."

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