PNE deny ‘beefed up’ security reports and say Sir Alex Ferguson will not attend tonight’s Manchester United clash

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
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PRESTON North End have denied reports suggesting they are ‘beefing up’ security to protect Sir Alex Ferguson for tonight’s FA Cup clash against Manchester United.

In fact a spokesman for PNE revealed they do not expect former United boss Sir Alex to even be in the stands for tonight’s FA Cup Fifth Round clash.

The club denied reports Sir Alex was due to attend and that they were planning on upping security around the directors’ box.

Sir Alex was expected to make his first appearance at Deepdale since his son Darren was sacked from his role as PNE manager in 2010.

Ferguson junior was fired in December 2010 and Ferguson senior - who was still in charge of Premier League heavyweights United - angered North End fans by immediately recalling Ritchie de Laet and Josh King from their loan spells.

Sir Alex also stopped the duo’s fellow United youngster Matty James’ loan days later.

North End revealed on Friday that they had sold all 21,300 tickets for the cup clash.

And Lancashire Police urged all supporters to stay safe and enjoy the North West derby.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “We’ve worked closely with both teams when planning the policing operation around tonight’s FA Cup match and there will be a visible presence throughout the evening.

“We hope that all of the supporters enjoy the match safely and responsibly and that it passes off peacefully.”