Sir Alex Ferguson admits his agony at leaving out top scorer Dimitar Berbatov

29 May 2011 10:58
ShareSir Alex Ferguson said not even including ?32million signing Dimitar Berbatov on the substitutes' bench was his most difficult decision of the day but denied that the Bulgarian striker had left the ground, saying he remained until the end with his team-mates.

The Manchester United manager justified his decision in what seemed like an attempt to mollify Berbatov and keep him at the club as part of the squad, but also admitted his tactical plans had failed.

You're not the one: Berbatov failed to make the squad for the showpiece final

Ferguson said: 'With Dimitar Berbatov, it was a difficult decision tonight. Picking my team I found easy but picking the subs I found very difficult.

'I overloaded on the midfield positions because I felt that area was the most important in terms of the way Barcelona play and the work you need in that central area. I gambled and played only one defender on the bench, which allowed me to get those midfield options. 

'It came down to a choice between Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov and my view is that if you're looking for someone to nick a goal in the last few moments of the game then Owenhas the experience, which is why I took the decision.'

Talking the talk: Berbatov was involved in United's preparations at Wembley (above) but wasn't there to collect a loser's medal (below)

Berbatov has not scored for 1,134 minutes in the Champions League, despite finishing as the Barclays Premier League's joint top scorer this season with 20 goals.

Ferguson added: 'We tried to play as near to the way we normally play. We don't man-mark players and things like that. But it wasn't good enough on the night and we understand that. We can step forward from here.

'We never really closed in midfield well enough to counter them, it's as simple as that.'

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 Explore more:People: Dimitar Berbatov, Alex Ferguson, Michael Owen Places: Barcelona

Source: Daily_Mail

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