Reclaiming Premiership title our priority — Fergie
Posted on July 19, 2012, Thursday
DURBAN, Sout h Africa : Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wants the English Premier League trophy back at Old Trafford next season.
He told a media conference in this Indian Ocean city that regaining the symbol of English football supremacy was “priority number one” after being pipped at t he po s t by nei g hbour s Manchester City last season.
Expensively assembled City scored twice in stoppage time to defeat QPR 3-2 at home on the final day of the season and win the title on goal difference f rom United, who won 1- 0 at Sunderland in a match played simultaneously.
“I want to recover t he tit le after the disappointment of last season,” said Ferguson ahead of t he f i rst of si x pre- season matches here against mid-table South African Premiership outﬁ t AmaZulu FC.
“We either win the title or come second — it is an important part of the history of our club over the past 20 years,” he stressed on a warm mid-winter day in a city that attracts millions of tourists annually.
“United have to recover as the club have done so many times in the past. That is our target this year. Priority number one is to win the English Premier League title back.”
Amid rumours that Manchester City are preparing to woo proliﬁ c Dutch scorer Robin van Persie from Arsenal, Ferguson gave a brief Premier League history lesson to illustrate the resilience of his Red Devils.
“When Arsenal won the title from us in 1998, we won the treble the following year. Then Chelsea came along and got off to a ﬂ ier in the league for the ﬁ rst two years so we changed our pre-season a little to ensure quick starts.”
With stars like Wayn e Rooney resting after Euro 2012 commitments, others like Ryan Giggs competing at the London Olympics and captain Nemanja Vidic among those injured, United have brought a severely depleted squad to South Africa. However, Ferguson once again went back in time to demonstrate that AmaZulu should be wary of his Red Babes when they clash before a sell-out 50,000 crowd at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
“When I started picking young players, we played Port Vale in a League Cup game and an MP protested to the government, sayi ng we were cheati ng t he public and they wanted thei r money back.
“Little did she know she was watching perhaps the greatest group of young players to come t hrough at a footbal l club i n England. The same applies here,” he said.
The United manager hinted that midfielders Jesse Lingard and Robbie Brady could face AmaZulu, who are coached by Swede Roger Pal mgren and capt ai ned by Zimbabwe goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini. — AFP