Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits Norwich City deserved a point

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed the resilience of his Manchester United team after admitting they had been second best to the Canaries for large parts of their 2-1 victory at Carrow Road.

Ryan Giggs produced a fairytale finish when he scored a stoppage-time winner on his 900th appearance for the club to keep United on the tails of Premier League leaders Manchester City.

'I have to say we were lucky today, in the sense Norwich had more promise about them. I thought we were lethargic, too casual on the ball,' said the United boss. 'Then when we lost the goal, we played brilliantly,' Ferguson, who did not attend the post-match Press conference, told MUTV.

'That tells you something about the temperament, they do not get nervous and started to up their game, so that augurs well for us.'

Ferguson, who confirmed duo Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley were ruled out of England's friendly against Holland on Wednesday through illness and injury, added: 'I think the players were probably a bit embarrassed with the chances they missed. They know they should have done better during the game, and that is irrespective of Norwich being the better team.

'They just kept crossing that ball into the box. Without Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and (David) De Gea, we would have been down. They were brilliant, the three of them.

'Norwich deserved a point today and it was a great goal they scored, but at that moment you saw us as Manchester United.

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'I am sure this result will have an impact.

'Everyone knows we never give in, no matter who plays us, they know they will have to play right to the death.''

Ferguson had recalled his regulars following their midweek defeat by Ajax in the Europa League, looking to close back up on leaders Manchester City, although England striker Rooney missed out because of a virus and midfielder Cleverley reportedly struggling with a recurrence of his recent ankle injury.

Ferguson confirmed: 'They will be out. Wayne has still not recovered from his throat infection, so hopefully we'll get him ready for next Sunday, when we have a big game at White Hart Lane.'