Ferguson still satisfied
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sir Alex Ferguson is satisfied with Man United's preparation for the season.
Sir Alex Ferguson is satisfied with Manchester United's preparation for the new season despite a surprise 2-1 defeat to Kashima Antlers.
The United chief saw his players arguing amongst themselves at the end of the latest leg of their Asian tour but is convinced fitness is the important factor.
"We were slow to start," he told MUTV. "After that, we dominated the game.
"We had an awful lot of chances, they had counter-attacks and we could have lost one or two more, but I'm quite pleased.
"The quality of our game was good, we had a lot of good movement, but hopefully we'll not miss as many as that [when the season starts]. It was a repeat of the cup final [against Arsenal].
"I think we want to take a better percentage [of chances]. We missed some good ones tonight but, overall, I'm not unhappy with the performance.
"Four games in ten days, the important thing is to get this done and prepare for the European game. We need that recovery period after we come back from Japan in order to be 100 percent.
"It'll be a completely different team on Saturday [against Urawa Reds] and when we play Antwerp, it will probably be near my team [for the UEFA Champions League qualifier]."
Ferguson is keen to get Louis Saha more games under his belt but is not counting on Argentinian defender Gabriel Heinze yet.
"In the last year or so, Louis has had an awful lot of injuries," stated Ferguson.
"Not with us. I must say he only had one injury - against Norwich, his calf strain; in the main, the injuries have been with France so hopefully France won't pick him!
"Paul Scholes missed the game with not 'flu, I don't know, but he felt a bit heavy today. Kieron Richardson has a calf strain but should be okay for Saturday.
"I'm not considering Gaby [Heinze] for the first European game anyway. We may wait for the second game if we need it. He needs a break, he played right up until the June 30 game against Brazil.
"Wes Brown has started training again and won't be fit probably for two weeks. Roy [Keane] had 45 minutes on Tuesday night and will hopefully get a full game on Saturday [against Walsall] and play against Antwerp."