Sunday, 21 October 2012

Alex Ferguson has no Champions League regrets as he prepares to face Braga this week

Alex Ferguson

Two Champions League wins. Two dramatic nights. One in Barcelona and one in Moscow.

Alex Ferguson admits to looking back on those occasions as some of his favourite memories during his 25-year spell at Old Trafford.

But there have been just as many painful moments. In fact, there are more black marks on United's Champions League record than gold stars.

Three semi-final losses and the double defeats at the hands of Barcelona in the final itself.

Those missed chances are enough to drive most bosses insane.

Not Ferguson though. As he prepares for a clash with Braga this week he believes is going to be trickier than most pundits expect, Fergie claims he has found a way to bury the agony that accompanied each reverse and look positively at another big day out.

He said: "I could sit back and think about the times we’ve thrown it away. But you can’t let it eat away at you and there’s always another opportunity next year. 

"The final is at Wembley this season, that’s a great incentive for us and hopefully if I get my defenders back we will definitely have a great chance, no doubt about that.”

After last year's calamitous mishap, when the Reds failed to progress from an easy group, United are looking more comfortable this time round.

Sitting pretty at the top of Group H, they face Braga knowing victory will leave them just one point from the magic figure of ten that normally assures qualification for the knock out stage.

But Ferguson is refusing to quit his mantra of taking nothing for granted. 

Stung by the debacle of last autumn, he is genuinely concerned about the quality of the Portuguese outfit.

He said: "They are a counter attacking team. I was the one that said they would do well in Galatasaray and they won 2-0.

"If you look over their record over the last few years, the year they good to the Europa League final in Dublin, their record away from home was good.

"They are naturally a counter-attacking team. I think things have changed in Europe because teams counter attack in a different way from how they did years and years ago.

"They attack in fours and fives. You saw against Galatasaray that the minute we gave the ball away in the first half they were at the edge of our box all the time.

"We are well aware of that danger and we have to make sure we find a solution to the counter attack in a better way than we did against Galatasaray."

UNITED'S HITS AND MISSES IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

1997 lost to Dortmund in semi's
1999 beat Bayern Munich to win trophy
2002 lost to Bayer Leverkusen on away goals in the semis.
2007 Lost to to AC Milan in semis
2008 beat Chelsea in final
2009 Lost to Barcelona in final
2011 Lost to Barcelona in final

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