We will not panic - Ferguson

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Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Manchester United will not panic if their lead in the Premier League starts eroding.

United visit Newcastle on Wednesday night knowing they would need to lose four of their remaining 12 matches to open the door to one of their major rivals.

But Ferguson remains confident, saying: "The experience we have garnered over the years helps us. We don't panic. We very seldom have. Even in games we always keep playing our football and remain patient."

The added insurance of an exceptionally strong squad should count in United's favour in the run-in, with six players due to start at St James' Park completely fresh after not making it onto the Wembley pitch for Sunday's Carling Cup triumph over Tottenham.

However, nothing will be taken for granted, with John O'Shea claiming Newcastle have the potential to be dangerous opponents despite their weekend loss to Bolton.

"These are the matches we are most wary of," said the Republic of Ireland international. "People expect us to go up there and score four or five goals and win very easily.

"But we know their fans will turn out in force and if we are not on form and go a goal down there will be a lot of noise."

O'Shea should shrug off a minor heel injury in time to feature on Tyneside, with the defender expecting a tough challenge from a team eager to aid manager Joe Kinnear's recovery from major heart surgery.

"Newcastle are getting some good attacking options coming back fit again and they seem to have a bit of extra fight and grit in their game since Joe Kinnear arrived," said O'Shea.

"And because of what has happened to him they will be working that bit harder to help ease his recovery. Any team going up to Newcastle can lose. We have to keep that knowledge because they can definitely make things more difficult."

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Tottenham Hotspur
John O'Shea
Bolton Wanderers
League Cup
Premier League
Manchester United

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