• Premier League

Ferguson: Time to end Liverpool feud

ESPN staff
September 14, 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has called for an end to the hostility between Manchester United and Liverpool in the wake of the Hillsborough Report.

United face Liverpool at Anfield on September 23, the Reds' first home game since the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel cleared the club's supporters of any blame in the 1989 tragedy, in which 96 people died.

Ferguson has orchestrated a period of domestic dominance during his time at United that has seen the Manchester club overhaul Liverpool's record 18 league titles and challenge for the right to be considered the most successful team in England.

The long-standing rivalry has been bitter and littered with controversy both on and off the pitch, most recently involving a racism charge handed to Liverpool's Luis Suarez for comments made to United defender Patrice Evra.

But Ferguson believes both clubs have a chance to "draw a line in the sand" and change the character of the rivalry for the better.

"We are two great clubs, ourselves and Liverpool," said Ferguson, whose United side face Wigan this weekend.

"We should understand each other's problems. Maybe a line will be drawn in the sand in terms of their behaviour towards each other."

Ferguson also called for an end to tasteless chants about the events at Hillsborough, particularly given the role that the Munich air disaster has played in the club's history.

"You'd hope that this is a line in the sand in terms of how the fans behave with one another," Ferguson said. "We are two great clubs and we should understand each other's problems in the past. Certainly the reputation of both clubs doesn't deserve it.

"Both clubs have suffered fatalities through football. You hope that fans do behave themselves and support their team and that will be the end of it."

Meanwhile, Darren Fletcher returns to the Manchester United squad after 10 months on the sidelines with a serious bowel problem.

"Darren Fletcher is in the squad, to give him a boost," Ferguson said. "At this moment in time everything looks fine."

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