Fletcher calls for United focus

Darren Fletcher has warned his Manchester United team-mates that they cannot afford to get complacent after extending their advantage over Premier League title rivals Liverpool.

United moved three points clear at the top of the table in midweek after a 2-0 win over Portsmouth, and tomorrow's visit of Tottenham gives Sir Alex Ferguson's side the opportunity to take another significant step towards a third successive English title. Despite a recent blip in form - reflected in an unconvincing display against Portsmouth - United have won 14 of their last 16 league matches and Fletcher underlined the importance of remaining focused.

The Scotland midfielder said: "We're on a run of three massive home games and we've got Portsmouth out the way and now we've got to look to Tottenham. We can only look to the next game and that's Tottenham, and we'll look to pick up three points. We look to the next match and don't look too far ahead of ourselves and see where that takes us.

"We've got that little advantage. We're top of the league, three points ahead and we've got that game in hand but those points aren't in the bag yet. There are going to be plenty of twists and turns left in this season and the only thing we can do is concentrate on ourselves and as long as we're winning matches, we should win the league."

Ferguson is hoping to be able to call on Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown to bolster his options after losing more defenders in the midweek victory over Portsmouth. Gary Neville and John O'Shea are both set to be on the sidelines for several weeks after picking up foot and ankle injuries respectively.

We've got that game in hand but those points aren't in the bag yet. There are going to be plenty of twists and turns left in this season.
Darren Fletcher

Centre-half Ferdinand missed the midweek match as a precaution after playing two matches in five days after he recovered from a groin injury. And full-back Brown, who has been restricted to just five Premier League starts this season, could return after a foot injury. Brown's return to fitness would be a major boost for Ferguson after the injuries to Neville and O'Shea meant that Brazilian youngster Rafael was his only recognised right-back.

Youngster Federico Macheda has made a major impression for United in recent weeks, having scored the vital winning goals in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa and the 2-1 victory over Sunderland earlier this month. And Carlos Tevez is backing the 17-year-old to continue to make an impression in the first team.

He said: "He has done tremendously well and he's very lucky to be playing for Manchester United at such a young age. He should enjoy every minute of his time on the pitch and that's the main thing. You have to love what you do.

"He is definitely good enough to play at the highest level. He's a big strong lad who is very skilful. That's a good combination and I'm confident that he has what it takes to make it right to the top."

Spurs defender Michael Dawson is set to miss the trip to Old Trafford after picking up an ankle injury in the 1-0 win over Newcastle last weekend. Tottenham have managed to remain unbeaten in their six matches against the top four this season and Jonathan Woodgate is determined to continue that run.

The defender said: "United are going for the title but you can see how well we've played against the top four. We haven't been beaten by any of the top sides in the league this season and we have beaten Liverpool and Chelsea at home. Our record against the top four is impeccable but United will put out a strong side and it will be very tough."