Fergie vows United will learn from mistakes
Updated: 2012-09-19 08:06
By Agence France-Presse in Manchester, England (China Daily)
Sir Alex Ferguson has vowed Manchester United will not repeat the mistakes of last season's Champions League campaign as his side prepare for its opening match in this term's group stages.
United hosts Galatasary at Old Trafford on Wednesday with memories still fresh of last season's group campaign, when Ferguson saw his team fail to reach the knock-out stages from a pool containing seemingly modest opponents in Benfica, Basel and Otelul Galati. This year's group draw has once more apparently been favorable to Ferguson's side, with United up against Braga, CFR Cluj and this week's opponents from Turkey.
Ferguson has confessed to having seriously misjudged last season's competition, in which he experimented with line-ups and rested key players, and the fact that Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa both started Saturday's 4-0 Premier League win over Wigan on the bench is a clear sign the Scot will be fielding his strongest side against Galatasary.
"If we don't go through, we will be criticized and pilloried for it and quite rightly," said Ferguson. "We've had our warning and I don't anticipate going out this time.
"We've had opportunities in the competition. We've lost two finals to Barcelona and won two in the last decade or so, but we want to do better. Certainly, we'll do better than last year - no question about that."
While Ferguson has also expressed his desire to wrestle the Premier League title from Manchester City this season, there is no doubt he also retains a burning ambition to lead United to what would be a fourth European crown.
"The European Cup is incredible," added Ferguson. "There's an atmosphere in the build-up to a European final and great charisma about it."
(China Daily 09/19/2012 page22)