ALEX Ferguson watched Javier Hernandez complete a nerve-jangling comeback against Newcastle and then declared: "I wish this was the last game of the season!"
Facing possible sanctions from the English FA after a pitch incursion to argue with referee Mike Dean over a disputed Jonny Evans own-goal, furious Ferguson calmed down long enough to pay tribute to the determination and courage of his players.
"What this tells you about is the courage of our team. Fantastic courage. The players never gave in. We improved our game enormously, which we had to do," said Fergie.
Delighted by the result, Ferguson now believes that his team has broken the back of the challenge posed by the holiday fixture programme.
"It's a really significant result for us. It puts us in a good position. As I always say of December, it's a month that tells you everything," added the boss.
"And when we come to the end of the Wigan game on 1 January, we'll still be top of the league."
3SEE PAGES 62-63