Sir Alex explains keeper choice
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sir Alex Ferguson has explained his decision to recall Roy Carroll to the side.
Sir Alex Ferguson has explained his decision to recall Roy Carroll to the Manchester United goal in place of Tim Howard.
Carroll is now expected to retain the keeper's spot for the FA Cup final although Ferguson refused to confirm that the Northern Ireland international will definitely make up for the disappointment of not starting last year's final win over Millwall.
With Howard's poor clearance contributing to Newcastle United's goal last weekend, through Darren Ambrose, the United manager has suggested that the American still needs to learn to keep his concentration during long periods of inactivity in games.
"It's coming up to the final," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "Roy had a spell out, which has brought him on actually. In training sessions, he's been fantastic.
"For Tim, it's really about experience. He plays in games for us every week and sometimes only has one save in a game to make, and that's the difficult part of being a keeper at our club.
"So, therefore, Roy's experience today comes on top of Tim's lack of experience. He needs more and more games, more to do, more action, to bring him on that step because Tim is a tremendously technically gifted keeper.
"He is lightning quick, his distribution is terrific and there are lots of good parts to Tim that will come on in the years ahead."
Ferguson stopped short of announcing Carroll will play against Arsenal in Cardiff but the Irishman needs only to perform as well as he did at Charlton to keep his place.
"What I want to do is have the two of them getting football behind them and, when it comes to final day, hope I pick the right one," he declared.
Carroll has still to agree a new contract at Old Trafford and may be leaving under the Bosman Ruling in the summer.
The Red Devils chief was also quick to pay credit to newly-crowned champions Chelsea.
"They've had a fantastic season and thoroughly deserve it," he stated. "To win the Premier League takes a very good team and they have been that this season.
"They've been worthy champions."