Ferguson relieved as Manchester United overcome resolute QPR

Sir Alex Ferguson is delighted as Manchester United beat QPR. Photo: PA

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted to feeling a sense of relief after Ryan Giggs' goal enabled Manchester United to finish off QPR and stay on course for the Premier League title.

Rafael's wonderful first-half drive and Giggs' strike 10 minutes from time helped United secure a comfortable 2-0 away win over the bottom club.

The Red Devils are now 15 points clear at the top of the standings, although Manchester City could narrow that gap against Chelsea tomorrow.

That is not something of concern to Ferguson, though. He was just pleased with another win and another clean sheet, which edges United even closer to a 20th title.

"Yeah, it is a good position but you know the way we approach it is to win our next game," he told MUTV. "That is the best way to do it, carry on doing that.

"I think it was more about determination and concentration at the back, in particular.

"We defended that part very, very well. It was a scrappy game at times and the pitch was lively.

"It is a tight ground and it was an ideal situation for a shock. Fortunately, we didn't get that.

"One goal is never enough, as you know. It only takes a second to lose a goal.

"I thought we played much better in the second half, I must say.

"We created some good chances but obviously Ryan's goal with 11 or 12 minutes to go killed the game."

The only negative today was an injury to talisman Robin van Persie.

The Netherlands international, whose 19 Premier League goals is as many as QPR have scored altogether this season, had to be replaced late in the first half due to a hip complaint.

"He collided with a camera," Ferguson explained. "It seems he hit the base of it and he has got a very bruised hip."

Van Persie's substitution came moments after he forced Julio Cesar into a wonderful save from an equally-impressive volley.

The striker latched onto a superb ball from Rafael, who had just cleared a Christopher Samba header off the line and netted a superb opener.

"I said to him he must have closed his eyes," Ferguson said with a smile when asked about Rafael's goal.

"He has three goals for us this season. The lad has had an absolutely magnificent season and is maturing all the time. He has had a fantastic game."

Ferguson was also quick to praise fellow goalscorer Giggs for another fine performance at Loftus Road, where he scored an iconic goal 19 years ago.

"He scored a great goal at that end actually all those years ago," he said.

"He scored at that end in a game we beat them 4-1, I think. Paul Ince scored an overhead kick so he has got a good record here."

While Ferguson closes in on success, QPR counterpart Harry Redknapp's problems continue.

His side now have just 11 matches to claw themselves off the bottom of the table and out of trouble.

Seven points currently separate them from safety but Redknapp still believes his side can stay up.

"I thought we were bang in the game," the Rs boss said. "The little right-back hits a 'worldie' - he won't hit another goal like that as long as he plays football.

"He's hit one out of the clouds that's gone in the top corner. Up until then there wasn't a lot in it.

"This leaves us bottom today, but we won't be bottom at the end of the season. I still feel we'll get out of it.

"Every game is important, they will be tough games.

"We need to get a team together on Monday, bed them in and work with them, and I think there's enough there to give us an opportunity. I'm still optimistic.

"You probably think I'm mad, but I don't think I am. Everybody else has written us off, but I haven't. I still feel we have a chance."