The Straits Times
Published on Sep 19, 2012

Defence is key for Man United, says Ferguson


LONDON (Reuters) - Keeping his defenders fit is the key to Manchester United's hopes of avoiding a repeat of last season's costly group-stage exit in the Champions League, manager Alex Ferguson said on Tuesday ahead of their opener against Galatasaray.

Ferguson was constantly shuffling his defensive cards last season with first-choice central defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand playing alongside each other only once in six Group C matches, two of which United drew at home.

United drew 3-3 at Old Trafford with Basel and 2-2 with Benfica as they failed to reach the last 16, one of the reasons given for a 3 per cent dip in total revenue in the year to June.

While Ferguson admitted his side had been careless at home last season, he said injuries to key defenders had not helped.