Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sir Alex Ferguson wants another title for Manchester United

When we talk about Sir Alex Ferguson, we must mention the word "success". He has won everything with Mancheste United. However, he wants to win at least one more Champions League for the Old Trafford team before he retires.

In fact, the old coach will have been manager of United for 20 years on November 6, and has already led the club to eight Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two League Cups and a European Cup Winners' Cup - as well as one Champions League triumph, against Bayern Munich in Barcelona in 1999.

Now at the age of 64, Ferguson admits: "It is a priority to do better in the European Cup and that will not change at this club because Europe is a motivation for us all the time.

"In my time at United, we should have done it better. In some years we have been unlucky, in others we have thrown it away and in others we were just not good enough.

"However, the bottom line is we should have had at least one more European Cup in my time at the club and hopefully we can do that before I ride off into the sunset."

We must remember that last season Manchester United failed to make it past the group stage, but three successive wins so far in the current campaign mean that just a point from Wednesday's trip to FC Copenhagen should be enough to earn a place in the knockout stage with two matches to spare.

So, Ferguson believes that spreading the goals around the team is the key to their improved performances and something that will help hem progress in Europe.

"We have great footballer we rely on in terms of goals, the most important being Louis Saha," said Ferguson. "I am sure Wayne [Rooney] will eventually go on to get us 15 and Cristiano Ronaldo is quite capable of reaching that figure too. But the real impact comes from the spread of goals in other areas.

"Obviously Paul Scholes' return to the squad is a bonus in that respect because historically, he has always given us an average of 10 a year. That was one of the things we missed last year when his season was cut down rapidly by injury.

"Hopefully, Ryan [Giggs] and Michael Carrick will make a contribution, as will the defenders, so we could have a healthy situation this year."

The manager also has Alan Smith back in the frame after the ex-Leeds star recovered from a serious leg injury.

Smith is now being seen as a forward again after being played in midfield last season.

"We tried Alan in central midfield last season because we were looking for someone with a certain type of aggression to replace Roy Keane," said Ferguson.

"However, now Scholes is back and we also have Carrick, Alan would have been behind players in the queue, so we felt it was better to use him in a position he is more acquainted with.

"In fact, there are no lingering doubts about him in terms of injury now. He just needs to work on his sharpness and timing. I am sure he will be fine."