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Fergie issues United warning

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30 Aug 2012 19:10:00

Fergie issues United warning

Sir Alex Ferguson has told his players they can't afford to make the same mistakes they committed in Europe last season in order to progress. United are expected to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition after being drawn alongside Braga, Galatasaray and CFR Cluj in Group H.

However, the United boss is conscious that his side were predicted to make round two last year after being given another favourable draw against Benfica, Basel and Otelul Galati, however we all know what happened there, and for that reason, he insists his squad cannot afford any slip-ups this time around. Ferguson, who has bolstered his squad since last season by signing Robin van Persie, is also aware that his team will find it extremely hard to come through the test of playing in a very hostile environment in Turkey when facing Galatasaray.

"We have the experience of playing against Galatasaray in the past and we will always remember the 'Welcome to Hell' banners," Ferguson told ManUtd.com. "So it's always a difficult type of match. "We have drawn Portuguese clubs a number of times over the past few years - the likes of Benfica, Sporting [Lisbon] and Porto - so we have the experience of playing in Portugal on many occasions.

"Braga are one of the improving teams in that country. "Obviously, we've never played Cluj before but, after the experience of last year, we don't want to make any stupid errors this time. We will play our strongest team to make sure we get through." While United have an appealing draw, their neighbours Manchester City were handed a tough test. City, who pipped the Red Devils to the Premier League title last year, face Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund - all current national champions - in Group D.

The draw also throws up an interesting sub-plot in the return of Real boss Jose Mourinho and former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo to the north-west. Real Madrid director of football Emilio Butragueno says Mourinho's players will be excited about the prospect of playing in England. "Playing in England is a great pleasure because the fans are extremely passionate," Butragueno told Sky Sports News. "It's a unique experience so I'm sure they will be excited about it."


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