Manchester United - Fergie: We Must Raise The Bar!
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Fergie: We Must Raise The Bar!

As has been previously stated on this site, United have a woeful record in European Cup semi-finals: Fergie himself lost three of these. He's reached his fifth one this year and does not intend to bow out again.

Barcelona will provide a great test for our finest - and should make it a wonderful game in the process.

'It is about raising the bar,' Fergie said. 'I think last season we were undone by circumstances in Milan, but the previous time in Milan we failed badly in the last 16.

'We have failed in some semi finals when we should have won. Leverkusen and Dortmund are two we should have won.

'We need more concentration and a better retention of the ball, definitely.'

Oh, his old obsession. Retaining a ball has become a mantra for Fergie before big European nights - and too often we then utterly failed to do so. Perhaps we should put less emphasis on it and we would be more successful? But I could cite the example of our not-so-beloved neighbours at the other end of the East Lancs: they had about 30% of possession at the Nou Camp last season yet won 2-1.

Still, we are better equipped than ever before and our displays in Europe have shown that.

'Our performances have been good, no question about that. The Roma and Lyon performances were good - as you know their European record has been good over the years so we have come through well to this point.

'But I don't see us as favourites. We have two very balanced teams in terms of the history of both clubs and the way they play. Both teams have good quality players. I think it is a very balanced game.

'Hopefully, we can score the goals that matter and take them back to Old Trafford without the worry of not having scored. If we get a goal, it gives us a massive advantage. I think this would be the most attractive final. If it had been the final it would have been a fantastic stage for two big clubs like Barcelona and ourselves. I think the winners will stand a great chance in the final.'

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 23 2008

Time: 12:32PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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As it's St.George's Day & despite being English isn't what it used to be & our teams are don't have many, good luck flying the flag in Spain. Go slay the Barca dragon. Best wishes from us at Pompey.
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23/04/2008 19:37:00

poor showing frm the lads. were very lucky to escaper with a scoreless draw but hey, i just feel our 10 mattch winning streak at OT will continue.....C'MON UNITED!
Report Abuse
23/04/2008 23:02:00

It looks like United went there to defend and counter. Only problem is that Ronaldo was the only person attacking! Evra kept Messi good and quiet and Marquez's tackle on Ronaldo as well as Abidal's tackle should have been a penatly. We missed Anderson a hell of a lot. Formation for 2nd game: 4-2-3-1 -----------VDS Brown---Vidic--Rio---Evra ------Hargo----Scholes Ronaldo---Anderson---Nani -----------Rooney
Report Abuse
24/04/2008 01:58:00

Wasn't pretty. I have a feeling the away goal rule could cost you lot the tie. 1-1 at Old Trafford I reckon...
Real Deal
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24/04/2008 07:43:00

My grandmother wouldn't have missed the Pen, but Ronaldo needs to go back to Macdonalds
Tiny T
Report Abuse
24/04/2008 08:45:00

we must raise the bar and widen the goal posts to make sure Ronaldo can keep his penalty on target :-)
Report Abuse
24/04/2008 19:34:00

merlin how many times has fatty frank missed a penalty in his career. enough said.
Report Abuse
24/04/2008 20:43:00

merlin go back to india with the rest of your vital members ;)
Report Abuse
24/04/2008 20:49:00


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