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Fergie - Leeds are on the up

Image: Ferguson: Expecting tough tie

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Saturday¿s FA Cup opponents Leeds will be back in the Premier League in the near future.

United boss commends work of opposite number Grayson

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes Saturday's FA Cup opponents Leeds will be back in the Premier League in the near future. The old foes lock horns at Old Trafford in the third-round of the competition with both sides riding high in their respective divisions. Leeds, now managed by Ripon-born Simon Grayson, suffered relegation from the Premier League in 2004 and have subsequently dropped to the third tier of English football. However, top of League One and on course for a return to the Championship, Ferguson believes it is only a matter of time before they make it back into the top flight. "They will not be too far away from the Premier League in the next couple of years," said Ferguson. "When you look at the position they are in at the moment in League One, they look certain to be in the Championship next year. "And with the motivation and drive that is coming from the manager, they have a great chance of going further. "Simon Grayson is a local boy himself, as well being a former player. Some people have targets in life. He has reached his and his team are not letting him down."


The two clubs share a heated rivalry and Grayson's side will be aiming for their first win at Old Trafford since 1981, and Ferguson is looking forward to their visit. "We don't need to spell out what Sunday's game means to the Manchester United fans. "There have been some fantastically feisty occasions over the years. And there was always a tinge of hostility. "We always told the players to make sure they behaved properly on the pitch because we didn't need to add to the problems off it. "Leeds are bringing 9,000 fans, so it will be a busy day for the police. But it will be an absolutely brilliant atmosphere and should be a good cup tie as well. "I used to enjoy the rivalry. It makes you perform. "We had some great games at Leeds. The atmosphere was always electric and our record was pretty good."

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