Fergie - We're more mature
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United have grown as a team since losing to Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League final.
Last Updated: 27/05/11 9:02pm
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United have grown as a team since losing to Barcelona in the 2009 UEFA Champions League final.
The Red Devils have a chance to exact revenge when they face the Catalan giants at Wembley on Saturday and Ferguson is expecting an exciting encounter.
Speaking to reporters on the eve of the big match, he admitted that senior players such as captain Nemanja Vidic and central defensive partner Rio Ferdinand would have crucial roles to play in containing Barcelona.
But he also stressed that United would look to assert their own style on proceedings, paying tribute to the increased maturity of star striker Wayne Rooney.
"If we perform well we have a great chance and I think we have players who will like this stage," Ferguson said at the press conference, shown on Sky Sports News.
"We are much more mature. In terms of Rooney's progress as a player in Europe, he is much more mature than he was in 2009.
"Other players too, like the experience of these two lads beside me (Vidic and Ferdinand), are vital to us.
"Barcelona have fantastic qualities and I think our qualities will show through too, which could make it a really good game."
Ferguson also insisted that United had learned from the mistakes of two years ago and were ready to challenge Barcelona.
He explained: "We're very focused this time. I think our preparation has been better.
"We always recognise the qualities of our opponents. It is unwise to go into a game not preparing for how a team play, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
"Every team gets that respect from us.
"But of course we always focus on what we can do ourselves, and we have plenty to offer because we have players that can do that."