Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Rafael Wins Alex Ferguson Praise at Manchester United

Alex Ferguson is full of praise for the start Rafael has made to the season.

The Brazilian came into the campaign having spent the summer with his national team at the Olympics and now is terrorising opposing defences with his attacking running from right back.

"Rafael was always going to develop," he said. 

"What he had was a great enthusiasm to play, but also a kind of over-exuberance in challenges and things like that.

"But I think he is 22. Eventually the penny drops for these lads the more games they play, he had a great experience playing with Brazil in the summer which has helped him. He is going to be a consistent performer."

Rafael starts tonight in Cluj as an unwavering Ferguson sticks to his guns over selecting his old boys for Champions League games - despite the Reds winning start.

Fergie is still haunted by the early exit last season and has been told by the clubs accountants, failing to reach the knock out stage is unthinkable.

So even though United got off to the perfect start by beating Galatasaray on September 19, the Scot will resist the idea of calling up his kids.

He points to Cluj's 2-0 win at Braga on Matchday One as a decent reason to name the likes of Wayne Rooney in his line-up.

That means impressive youngsters Scott Wootton and Nick Powell will have to wait for their chance when in the past, the early stages of the Champions League was an opportunity to prove they could thrive at Old Trafford.

"There is no chance I play the youngsters," Fergie said.

"We will play the experienced players. Cluj knocked out Basel in the qualifier over two legs, that shows where they are.

"To win in Braga, it's not an easy place to go to. We are taking it seriously. "

Although Cluj picked up their first home point in the UEFA Champions League in 0-0 draw with Chelsea in the 2008/09 group stage, they have struggled to win in Europe.

That is starting to change with coach Ioan Andone eyeing a qualifying spot in Group H.

Ferguson said: "They think they can qualify now, they have a home game against us and if they get something from it they are in a good position with two games against Galatasaray next."

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