The Straits Times
Published on Feb 17, 2013

'Better than treble' United face Reading in FA Cup


MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) - Alex Ferguson believes he has a stronger Manchester United squad at his disposal than the one that won the club's historic treble in 1999.

But that has not prevented the veteran United manager from handing out a stark warning to his players ahead of their FA Cup fifth round meeting with fellow Premier League side Reading at Old Trafford on Monday.

United have a commanding 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League and a solid 1-1 draw at Real Madrid on Wednesday has given them a slight edge after the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

Ferguson, in charge when United swept the European Cup, English league title and FA Cup 14 years ago, refuses to talk about the prospect of repeating that remarkable feat. But he does believe the current crop of United players is, overall, superior to the 1999 vintage.