Curbs focused on Man United showdown

As tomorrow's showdown with Manchester United draws ever nearer, Alan Curbishley admits he has long been convinced they had what it took to become Premiership Champions this season.

"I went to a League managers meeting up there at the start of the season and there was a real desire about the place," said Curbs. "They needed to get off to a good start and they did. It was obvious they were going to give it a right go and compete."

In the midst of mounting speculation, Curbs is convinced Sir Alex Ferguson will be fielding a strong side.

"There will be lots of familiar faces on the team sheet at Old Trafford," he said. "Alex has come out and said that he has to respect the League. Whatever team they put out will be going out there to win."

With so much talk about Carlos Tevez, Curbs admitted he was pleased to see the Argentine on top of his game.

"He has been desperate to do well and he has been desperate for the Club to do well, even when he wasn't playing," said Curbs. "His performances have galvanised people and some of the other players' performances have galvanised him.

"It's a team effort and one vital ingredient has been the fans. They needed something to get behind, we gave them that and the difference is there for all to see."