O'Shea salutes United strength
John O'Shea is delighted to have led from the front as Man Utd secured European progress on Wednesday.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 05/05/11 7:12am
John O'Shea is delighted to have led from the front as Manchester United secured European progress on Wednesday.
The Irishman was handed the captain's armband by Sir Alex Ferguson as the Red Devils swept aside Schalke in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
A 4-1 victory at Old Trafford wrapped up a 6-1 aggregate success and saw United book a final date with Barcelona on 28th May.
Ferguson made eight changes to his starting XI for the meeting with Schalke, with one eye on a crucial Premier League fixture with Chelsea on Sunday, but the side led by O'Shea produced the perfect response to last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.
"I was delighted the manager named me as captain," said the stand-in skipper.
"It was a fantastic occasion but the most important thing was we got the performance and the win we needed.
"Some of the performances that the lads put in really showed how strong the squad is. We could have scored a few more goals but we are very happy with the end result.
"We lacked the same intensity as we normally do against Arsenal at the weekend as the boys put in such a great performance in Schalke. The manager did take a risk but he also had faith in the squad."
United will tackle Barca, conquerors of arch-rivals Real Madrid in their last-four encounter, in a re-run of the 2009 Champions League final.
The two sides will meet at Wembley on this occasion, handing the Red Devils home soil advantage, but O'Shea insists no-one at Old Trafford is getting too far ahead of themselves, with crunch Premier League clashes against Chelsea, Blackburn and Blackpool to come before attention turns to continental competition once more.
He said: "Wembley and Manchester United has a fantastic history but fingers crossed we will have the Premiership wrapped up before then.
"We watched the game closely against Madrid. They got through it quite well but we can put it to one side.
"We have three huge games in Manchester United's history before another massive match."