Ferguson targets Europa success
ALEX FERGUSON insists he would regard it as a significant achievement in Manchester United's history if they were able to join the select group of clubs that have won all UEFA's major prizes.
For the first time since 1995 United will compete in a European competition other than the Champions League when they tackle Ajax in the first leg of a Europa League last-32 encounter in Amsterdam tonight.
It is the prize being paid for failing to emerge from a simple looking group, and not managing to win a single match from their four meetings against Benfica and Basel, who advanced instead. However, two months on from that shattering loss in Switzerland, the United boss is looking forward positively.
“It would be a significant achievement,” said Ferguson. “Winning any European trophy is significant.
“Irrespective of those who have won the three trophies before it is important for us, with our own history, to win tournaments all the time.”
And, with no domestic match to sidetrack him at the weekend, Ferguson found it easy to state his intention to field a strong United line-up.
Despite the absence of injured duo Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov, plus a “rested” Patrice Evra, captain-elect Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes were both part of the travelling party.
Scholes and Wayne Rooney may start in a stadium where, on his last United appearance there, he was sent off along with Paul Scholes in a pre-season tournament game against Porto.