Sir Alex Ferguson heaped praise on his injury-ravaged Manchester United team for marking his 24th anniversary as manager with a 2-1 win over Wolves.
Park Ji-sung struck the winner two minutes into injury-time, just as it seemed United were about to lose more ground to Chelsea in the title race. The South Korean's near-post effort gave United their sixth successive win and they head into Wednesday's Manchester derby at Eastlands in confident mood, even if their ranks are somewhat depleted.
"We have done really well to get a result," said Ferguson. "You have to admire the perseverance of the team because we have done it so many times. But it was a long struggle because we made so many changes."
Ferguson revealed skipper Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Paul Scholes had all been suffering from a flu virus that even kept the Scot away from training on Friday.
It led him to take a chance on the fitness of Owen Hargreaves, which backfired badly as he lasted just five minutes on his first start since September 2008 after suffering a hamstring injury.
"We took a gamble with Owen Hargreaves," admitted Ferguson. "We thought by doing that it would give us a compact midfield with experience. But he only lasted five minutes. It was a disaster.
"He has hurt his hamstring, which is unbelievable. It put us under the cosh.
"Patrice Evra, Paul Scholes and Nemanja Vidic were all feeling under the weather, then we had to bring Bebe on. He has potential but he is learning.
"What we needed was the patience to open them up because we were playing without a lot of players who can make a difference at that stage of the game.
"It is unfortunate we didn't get one earlier. Nevertheless, we will take it."
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