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Fergie calls for clam

MANCHESTER, January 27- Sir Alex Ferguson has renewed his appeal to Manchester United fans to keep the lid on protests over the way the club is being run by its US-based owners, the Glazer family.Ferguson used his programme notes for last weekend’s game against Hull to plead with United supporters to stay together.

There was little sign of off-field discontent spreading onto the pitch at Old Trafford on Saturday as England striker Wayne Rooney scored all the goals in a 4-0 win that saw champions United return to the top of the Premier League.

However, United fans have maintained their attacks on the Glazers in the wake of the club revealing, in accounts filed last week, that its debts had reached almost 720 million pounds by the middle of last year.

Ferguson said: "Fans are entitled to voice their disapproval about this or that. There’s nothing wrong with supporters complaining. If the team plays badly they are quite right to voice their disapproval. It’s their prerogative because this is their club."

But the Scot made it clear he feels that the anti-Glazer movement will not help his squad’s cause.

"We don’t want a divided club," he said. "We want the supporters behind the club all the time because we’re coming to the important part of the season. Everything is down to what we do as a team.

"The team, always the team, is the most important thing. We should never lose sight of that.

"All I’m interested in is that everyone buckles down to make sure we are successful, players and staff – but supporters in particular."

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Ferguson meanwhile has maintained he was not in the least surprised to hear Wayne Rooney commit his future to the club despite speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Rooney’s current deal expires in 2012 but Ferguson insists he is not worried that the England striker, 24, might want to leave Old Trafford.

He added: "I think we know where that is coming from. In fact, we are sure where it’s coming from. It’s not his agent. It’s not Wayne. So, we’ll deal with that.

"He wants to stay here. He has made that quite clear himself. But we knew that he didn’t want to leave here.

"He is in such great form there aren’t many players matching him at the moment. His scoring form has put him up in that frame.

"I’m not suggesting there aren’t plenty of other good players in the country and it’s not for me to judge who is the best.

"I am just happy with the form Wayne is showing. If he continues in this way he could get to 30 goals quite easily."

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