Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits mistakes were made in Rome

27 May 2011 07:11

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that mistakes may have been made before the 2009 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, but that they have been rectified ahead of the 2011 final against the same opposition on Saturday.

Ferguson was speaking alongside his central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at a Wembley press conference, before his team had a training session on the pitch the night before their showdown with the Catalan giants.

United lost 2-0 in Rome two years ago as they looked to become the first team to defend the European Cup in the Champions League era, but Ferguson insisted revenge is not on the agenda.

Getting ready: United players training at Wembley on the eve of the final

'We were disappointed we lost the game but it isn't a matter of revenge it is about our own personal pride,' he said.

'We are very focused this time and our preparation has been better. I think we maybe made one or two mistakes last time but not this time.'

The Reds wrapped up a record 19th domestic title against Blackburn on May 14 and Ferguson revealed that time has been used to prepare for this weekend's final.

Last-minute preparations: United players train at Wembley

'We did most of the work before the Blackpool game and winning the league the previous week helped us that way. The players they have to trust themselves and trust each other because I trust them,' he added.

Captain Nemanja Vidic said it was an honour to lead United into the final in his first season as full-time skipper, but that the preparations have been the same as those for any other game.

'Obviously I'm very honoured to be the captain at such a big club and to lead the team to big games, but ifyou finish the season without the trophy you're not satisfied.

'We can focus now on this big game coming on Saturday and we are doing the usual stuff, but it is more about being ready mentally and physically.'

Speaking about the Wembley stage for this final, Ferguson said: 'It's a symbol of English football.

'When you come here it's for a big reason. There is none bigger than tomorrow. I feel this is the right place for a final.'

Enlarge The main man: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson alongside Rio Ferdinand at a Wembley press conference

Ferguson had praise for opposite number Pep Guardiola ahead of the game and saluted the swift impact he has made since taking the Nou Camp hotseat.

The former Barca midfielder was the youngest coach to win the Champions League when his side beat United in the 2009 final in Rome, completing a league, cup and European treble in his first season.

They have gone from strength to strength since and Ferguson said: 'For a young coach, he's changed the way they play and brought a maturity to the team.

'From beating us in Rome to the present day, you can see that maturity. He's changed the way they press the ball, for a young coach he's done fantastically well and has a good presence.

Getting ready: Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai (third left) and his team training at Wembley

'He played for Barcelona, which helps, and with the history of Dutch coaches there, he's made a big step forward for Spanish coaches.'

Lookingahead to the test presented on Saturday evening, he added: 'There couldbe a lot of excitement, there'll be a lot of good football.

'We recognise the quality of our opponents, it's unwise to go into a game not preparing for how your opponents play, their strengths and weaknesses.

'But we always focus on what we can do ourselves and we hope to attack, we have players who can do that.'

Fan-tastic: United supporters pose with the Champions League Trophy in Hyde Park

Ferguson is backing his side's European experience to come to the fore and said: 'All the teams have different qualities, this team has unity and our record in Europe this year is good.

'We're used to playing in Europe, we have that experience and we're pleased with what we've achieved this year in Europe.

'You look at (Wayne) Rooney, he's more mature now than he was in 2009, and others too. The experience of (Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic) is vital.'


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 Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand Places: Barcelona, Rome, Europe

Source: Daily_Mail