Anderson relishing battle for place
Manchester United midfielder Anderson is relishing the battle for a first-team place with the Old Trafford outfit. The Brazil international arrived at United from Porto with such high expectations in 2007. So far though, the promise has been largely unfulfilled. A succession of injuries have not helped. But there have also been suggestions Anderson's attitude is not all it might have been. This season though, there have been undeniable signs of improvement from the 24-year-old. His four appearances so far this season include a goalscoring contribution to United's Capital One Cup victory over Newcastle, whilst Anderson also impressed as the Red Devils extended their 100% record in this season's Champions League against Romanian champions Cluj. So, as United prepare to meet Portuguese outfit Braga on Tuesday, the former Porto star seems to be enjoying life again. "I've been here for five years," he told the club's website. "Sometimes I have had difficult moments but I've always got through them. "I know this is the best club for me and I am very happy here." Thankfully, Anderson has been injury-free since reporting for the start of pre-season. He needs to retain that fitness too to prevent Ferguson harbouring any thoughts about finally cutting his losses. And Anderson seems to have finally grasped the need to stay in shape. "I hope my injuries are behind me," he said. "I'm 24 now and I've learnt a lot in the last few years. "I understand that to do well in my career, I have to look after myself and train hard." Anderson will hope to be involved on Tuesday night, when United entertain Braga. The Portuguese outfit suffered a surprise home defeat to Cluj in the opening round of fixtures, only to make up for it with an equally eye-catching 2-0 success at Galatasaray last time out. Braga are also currently on a five-match unbeaten run against English opposition, although that was preceded by a six-goal hammering by Arsenal in 2010. "Traditionally there have always been three teams in Portugal - Sporting Lisbon, who have dropped off a bit at the moment, Porto and Benfica," said Sir Alex Ferguson. "But now Braga have become the third best team in Portugal. "And when you look at the number of Portuguese players who make it you can see there is quality there." Ferguson admitted his surprise at learning Braga had lost that opening match to Cluj. However, after seeing an improvement against Benfica recently, he accepts the Europa League finalists represent a significant test. "They drew 2-2 at Benfica, played really well and should have won," said Ferguson. "They were top of the league for quite a while last season too, so the Cluj result surprised me. "I spoke to Nani, who said they are very positive away from home. "I saw that in the Benfica game, so we won't be taking anything for granted."
Related Manchester United News