Ferguson happy with quality of squad
Spanish hitman David Villa was the only major player on Sir Alex Ferguson's summer wish-list but despite the striker escaping United's clutches the Reds boss is still confident the club can make a fist of their European challenge. Fergie had to scrap his plans to install the prolific Valencia marksman early on when Barcelona snapped him up in May for £34.2m. Once Villa was scratched off his shopping list, Sir Alex abandoned a big-name pursuit and concentrated on more modest younger imports. Mexican Javier Hernandez was secured for £8m from Chivas, England Under-21 defender Chris Smalling had already been bought from Fulham for £10m and forward Bebe was picked up for £7.5m from Vitoria de Guimaraes. The trio added to Fergie's growing store of young players but the relatively small outlay led to accusations that United's owners the Glazers had tied his hands in the transfer market. We have no financial restrictions. If I hadn't been confident (about the Champions League bid) we maybe would have done something, insisted the United manager. I looked around at the market and there was only one player I would have brought here. That move was sealed off quite early by the club he went to. Also the best thing we can do until the market becomes more sensible is produce young players and buy young players and develop them in the club. By doing that we are securing the next eight years easily at Manchester United. The stock of young players we have created will stand us in good stead for the years to come now. But I won't be here in eight years! I don't think we are at the point where we have to go overboard to get the best player in the world. There are enough really top players in the club at the moment. There maybe a time in the next couple of years where we have to stretch ourselves particular when Ryan Giggs retires, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville retire. We'd need to get really top players in to galvanise the younger players coming through then. That is a possibility. But at the moment we have the experience. We have players who have been through the whole gamut of emotions and experiences at this club and to deal with it. Ferguson is convinced he has the tools to take on the Euro challenge. United's quarter-final exit against Bayern Munich was the first time United had not reached the last four since 2006. Arjen Robben's tie-clinching volley at Old Trafford for Bayern Munich last April still haunts the United manager. But missing out on a potential final in Madrid won't be the spur this campaign. I don't know if what happened last season really comes into it, said the United boss. Every season we have a motivation to get to the final. We were disappointed last year. There is no question about that. It was quite an unbelievable tie against Bayern Munich. But we have to put it behind us. It is the same squad. We have exactly the same players. "Hopefully, we just have that little bit more experience in some departments. Our home record over the years has been very good. I hope that continues. Getting the three points would give us a good start. Rangers will be organised. There will be no problems with their temperament or their fitness. These are the things you expect of Rangers. It won't be easy. We have faced organised teams many times who have a game-plan when they come to Old Trafford. We have to do something about. We always have to. It is the same again tonight. Nemanja Vidic is set to keep the captaincy against Rangers having worn the armband for United's opening four Premier League matches. Club skipper Gary Neville and previous experienced captains Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Edwin van der Sar could be in the Reds XI tonight but the Serbian defender is set to keep a firm grip on the job. Gary is still club captain but the situation is I have been looking for someone who is going to be playing consistently every week, explained Sir Alex. The last two or three years, and Gary agrees with me, we have had to pass the baton along the line a few times. We have not had a consistent captain. Gary's injuries have prevented him playing all the time. If he was available all the time he would be the captain. He would have been on Saturday (at Everton). "But I have to look at the overall picture. With all due respect to Gary's time at United, he knows and I know, we don't play him every week. I am looking for someone who is going to play every week as part of the criteria to be captain at our club.
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