Manchester United 'have experience' to handle Besiktas' atmosphere
14 September 2009 06:30
United are favourites to progress from Group B having been paired with Besiktas, CSKA Moscow and German champions Wolfsburg.
But the trip to Istanbul pits United against a home team who are backed by the noisiest supporters in the world, according to a record set during their victory over Liverpool in Istanbul two years ago.
The decibel level on that night topped any previously recorded and, having experienced the unique atmosphere of Turkish football against Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in the past, Ferguson is confident that United will not be fazed by the reception that awaits on Tuesday evening.
Ferguson said: "We've been here in Turkey before, against Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, and it has always been a good experience.
"The atmosphere is unique to Turkey with the incredible fanaticism. At Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, the fans were in stadium at 12 o'clock. It's amazing, but it shows fanaticism they have for their football clubs.
"It's going to be a volatile atmosphere, but we hope that the experience we have had in last couple of years helps us with whatever we face."
United return to European action for the first time since losing the Champions League final against Barcelona in Rome last season.
And Ferguson insists that his players are ready to show that they have learned the lessons from the Rome disappointments.
He said: "You don't like losing games, but that reaction has been part of me for a long time.
"You get defeats, everyone gets them, and how you recover from it is the important thing. With any defeat, you don't enjoy them but you have to move on and learn from them. What happened in Rome, we have put behind us. You just move on and that's what we have done."
Ferguson claims that United's group offers a real test of their European credentials.
He said: "We are playing three teams we haven't played before, but that's one of the great thing of Europe and we are looking forward to it.
"This group is more difficult than normal, though. You normally look for games in France and Germany in the group stages, but we have a lot of travelling to overcome in this group."