Manager Sir Alex Ferguson condemned the `funereal' atmosphere at Old Trafford which almost resulted in Manchester United dropping valuable Premier League points against Birmingham.At times, the noise level in the stadium as United laboured to a 1-0 win over Alex McLeish's strugglers was non-existent, a fact gleefully pointed out by the visiting fans. Sitting in the directors' box as he completed a two-match touchline ban, the lack of atmosphere was even more noticeable to Ferguson. So, just over seven years after former captain Roy Keane laid into United's 'prawn sandwich brigade', Ferguson decided it was time to cut loose. 'The crowd were dead,' said the Scot. 'It was like a funeral it was so quiet. 'You need the crowd to create a good atmosphere. It is all right saying the players can make the crowd respond but in some situations, like this one, the crowd have to get behind the players. 'I think there have been days like this in the past. It happened some years ago, when we were dominant. The crowd have come to be entertained. It doesn't help us.'