Fergie buoyant over new stars
Sir Alex Ferguson is banking on new stars to emerge at Manchester United after the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star finally left Old Trafford for Real Madrid this summer in a world record £80million deal with many critics suggesting United will struggle to replace his impressive goal tally. However, Ferguson insists it is a chance for other players to step into the limelight and make a name for themselves in the absence of Ronaldo. "The important thing is not to get too upset when a player leaves you," he said. "This club can produce players all the time and we will go on. We almost had Ronaldinho signed in 2003 and two months later we have bought Ronaldo. "Before that we thought we had Paul Gascoigne but didn't get him and we got Paul Ince and Roy Keane. "We had a chance to get David Hirst and then Alan Shearer. Instead we got Eric Cantona. It happens that way. "We are searching to improve ourselves but this time the improvement will come from within. "We will miss Ronaldo. He was always a threat and his stats were fantastic, he is the best player in the world. "But he was part of a good team. Everything you set out to do is about the team. "We won't forget what he did for us but we have players who can make the same impact." Fellow Portuguese winger Nani is one of those who Ferguson believes can up his game to take centre stage. The 22-year-old was impressive in last Sunday's Charity Shield loss to Chelsea and Ferguson believes he was one of the best players on the pitch. "Nani seems far more settled," he said. "I was surprised when they gave the man of the match to Ricardo Carvalho last Sunday. They obviously weren't watching the game." Nani played for Portugal in their 3-0 win over Liechtenstein in midweek after remarkable recovery from a dislocated shoulder which he suffered in the Chelsea clash yet Ferguson was delighted with what he saw. "Nani had a terrific game. I don't think he was overshadowed by Cristiano. He was very friendly with him and he looked up to him. "But maybe he sees this as his big opportunity." United have opened the last two Premier League campaigns with goalless draws but Ferguson remains confident that his side will be the team to beat in the coming season. "You could put a blanket over ourselves, Chelsea and Liverpool," he said. "What may decide it is if one club gets a run of injuries, or a lot of them at one time. "We have more experience because of winning the titles but it doesn't make that much difference in terms of the competition we are going to get into. "To win four in a row would be fantastic. But this is a difficult league to win and rather than look to May I am looking at Sunday."
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