Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he was frustrated by Manchester United's failure to close the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool after his side were held to a goalless draw against Tottenham on Saturday. Just hours after Liverpool drew against Hull, United wasted a chance to move within four points of top spot as they struggled to find any rhythm at White Hart Lane. United remain six points behind and could be even further adrift by the time they return from the Club World Cup in Japan.
"It's frustrating," Ferguson said. "I think we dominated the game, particularly in the second half. We didn't get the bit of luck you want to that position. Their goalkeeper made two fantastic saves at the end and Rio [Ferdinand] had a header that could have gone in.
"I'm satisfied with the effort they put in. They worked really hard. Tottenham are not an easy team to play again at the moment. They have been on a high since Harry came here. They worked very hard to contain us. It's not the worst result but I wish we could have got those two extra points."
Ferguson insisted United, who have a game in hand on Liverpool, will still make a sustained challenge to retain their title in the new year if they can stay close to the leaders. "It's always frustrating when teams like Liverpool and Arsenal drop points," he said. "You hope you don't drop points as well. Hopefully it's a draw for Chelsea [against West Ham] on Sunday as well. There is a long way to go. We hope we have narrowed the gap by the new year. If we get to that situation we are in with a good chance."
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was delighted with the way his side frustrated United despite the loss to injury of Ledley King before the match and Jonathan Woodgate, King's defensive partner, early in the first half. "I thought the lads showed great character and it was a terrific result," he said. "They all played their part. Any time you can get a result against Manchester United you've got to be happy because they are a great. Everybody is worried about relegation because it's so tight. Anyone can have a bad run and get stuck in it. If we work as hard as we have since I've been here we won't have a problem."
Redknapp saluted Brazil goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who underlined his improved form of late with a fine stop to deny Ryan Giggs in the last minute. "You can see a big lift in his performances," he said. "Everyone says he is a world-class goalkeeper and we are starting to see that now."
Gomes admitted Redknapp had played a big role in his revival. "Everyone here has helped me," he said. "It was a difficult game because Manchester United are a great side. All the time Harry has helped me. The defence have done their part as well."
Manchester United are now on their way to Japan to take part in the FIFA Club World Cup, where they will play the winners of the Adelaide United-Gamba Osaka match on Thursday in Yokohama.