Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will seek advice from the
`Special One’ Jose Mourinho, as he attempts to plot Barcelona’s downfall
in the Champions League final.
United romped into the May 28
showpiece at Wembley after overwhelming Bundesliga outfit Schalke 4-1 at
Old Trafford with a virtual reserve team, completing a crushing 6-1
aggregate victory on Wednesday.
Ferguson said Mourinho’s
perspective would be an interesting one to take on board after his side
Real Madrid were knocked out of the ECL by Barcelona courtesy of a
second-leg 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp which saw them lose their semi-final
3-1 on aggregate.
“I speak to him (Mourinho) quite a lot and I
spoke to him last week. Real Madrid are a different team from us. I
think we’ll depend on our own knowledge of Barcelona – it’s not as if
we’ve never seen them before,” Ferguson said.
“But the experience
that Real Madrid have and from Jose’s angle – you always take
information from that because he’s very helpful that way.”
scintillating form in recent seasons have prompted some commentators to
hail Pep Guardiola’s team as the greatest club side ever.
But while a fervent admirer of the Catalan club, Ferguson insists his team will not be overawed when they meet in the final.
“I don’t think we should be going to Wembley lacking in confidence,” Ferguson said.
think Barcelona’s form has been very good this season. We’re playing a
fantastic team. But we can’t be frightened out of skins because of that.
“Their form is there for everyone to see – our job is to find a solution.”
Ferguson admitted that he had been anxious for United to avoid
Barcelona throughout this season’s Champions League and revealed he
would have been happy to be playing another club in the final.
“I wish it was Brechin City or somebody like that to be honest with you,” he joked.
“No disrespect to Brechin City – I love that wee club.
“But I think at the start of the season you say ‘Stay clear of Barcelona’. Because their form is there for everyone to see.
done our job well now that our away form has been terrific. We’ve found
a good way of playing away from home. Wembley’s not an away game, it’s a
neutral ground. But I think we’ll be quite well prepared.”
also declined invitations to characterise the final as an opportunity
for his players to avenge their defeat in Rome two years ago, when they
comprehensively outplayed by Guardiola’s pass masters.
doesn’t come into it,” Ferguson said. “What does come into is that this
is another opportunity for Manchester United to win a European trophy.
“I’ve always said that other clubs have done better than us, and we should have done better in Europe.
have to admire the way Barcelona play, they play with great style,
they’ve got fantastic players. But we’ve got a job to do and we’ll find a
Ferguson steered clear of empathising with Mourinho’s
suggestions that Barcelona were beneficiaries of a sinister conspiracy
to fix European competitions in their favour.