O'Shea Rallies United

John O'Shea has challenged his Manchester United team-mates to emulate Chelsea's excellence and dismissed suggestions that The Red Devils are on the wane.

Tuesday's uninspired goalless draw between United and Arsenal served only to underline the disparities between The Blues and two of their long-standing Premiership rivals.

Though United have fared better than The Gunners this season, Sir Alex Ferguson's side continue to trail in the wake of Jose Mourinho's impervious leaders.

United lie 13 points adrift of the team from SW6 but O'Shea insists that is not a signal of United's decline but more Chelsea's near invincibility.

"It is not as if we have gone backwards," said O'Shea.

"Someone was telling me this is one of our best points tallies for the last 10 years."

The Irishman, who has held down a place in United's midfield in recent weeks in the absence of Paul Scholes and Alan Smith, believes United must now strive to match The Blues.

"What we have not done is step up to the level Chelsea have reached and that is the next challenge for us now," added O'Shea.

"We have taken eight points from 12 over the Christmas period but when you see the pace Chelsea are setting, it really needed to be 12.

"But we have a few players coming back and a few new lads coming in this month which will freshen everyone up, so hopefully we can finish the season strongly and match the run Chelsea are making."

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 6 January 2006