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Manchester United ready to defend Premier League says Sir Alex Ferguson
Published : 13 Aug 2009 10:56:02
United, defeated on penalties in last Sunday's Community Shield curtain-raiser against Chelsea at Wembley, return to competitive action for the first time since their 2-0 Champions League final defeat against Barcelona in Rome in May. Since relinquishing their grip on the European Cup, United have banked £80 million from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid and seen Carlos Tevez reject a five-year deal at Old Trafford in order to sign for Manchester City. But despite the comings and goings at Old Trafford this summer, Ferguson admits that the pain and disappointment of defeat against Barcelona continues to linger and he believes that the only way to overcome the bitter memory is by bouncing back at the first opportunity. He said: "When you lose the last game of the season, you have two or three months to reflect on the disappointment and we haven't enjoyed that. "But we'll cope and we will bounce back. We've tasted two European Cup finals in a row now and we've experienced emotions at either end of the spectrum, but adversity is always an important factor in developing and improving. "I've always reacted well to adversity over the years and, whenever we lose a match, I tell my players that the next one is the important one. "That's the match we focus on and that has always been the case here at the club." United are due to learn their Champions League group opponents in two weeks and Ferguson admits that the target this term is "to be in the final at the end of the season". He said: "We won the Champions League with the excitement of a penalty shoot-out in Moscow on a pouring wet night and then we lost in Rome on a really humid night. "Those experiences will help us and hopefully we can be there again in Madrid next May."