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United's Sir Alex gives Oţelul their due

Published: Tuesday 1 November 2011, 19.27CET
Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson called FC Oţelul Galaţi "a very organised, committed, strong and aggressive team" ahead of the clubs' Group C rematch at Old Trafford.
by Nick Aitken
from Manchester

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Tournament statistics

Man. UnitedOţelul

Goals scored11
 
3
Attempts on target38
 
24
Attempts off target32
 
30
Corners28
 
17
Offsides21
 
16
Fouls committed63
 
107
Yellow cards8
 
15
Red cards1
 
2
 
Published: Tuesday 1 November 2011, 19.27CET

United's Sir Alex gives Oţelul their due

Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson called FC Oţelul Galaţi "a very organised, committed, strong and aggressive team" ahead of the clubs' Group C rematch at Old Trafford.

Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson was clear that he had plenty of respect for FC Oţelul Galaţi as the English champions gear up for a rematch against their Romanian counterparts in UEFA Champions League Group C.

Going on our experience from the last game, they're a very organised, committed, strong and aggressive team. We'll need a good performance to beat them
Sir Alex Ferguson
They're a big team, but as long as we enjoy it I expect the players to give a good account of themselves. Nerves are normal, as we're facing a big team, but I'm hoping the lads can shake them off by the time the game starts
Dorinel Munteanu

Manchester United
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson

We need to win, that's for sure. Winning [2-0] over there has given us the incentive to push on now. Going on our experience from the last game, they're a very organised, committed, strong and aggressive team. We'll need a good performance to beat them. We may make one or two changes, not a great many, and they'll be mainly because of injuries and things like that. But hopefully we've still got a strong enough team to win.

Rio [Ferdinand] will play tomorrow. It's like I was saying to him the other day. We've got two young centre-halves coming through, I'm very happy with them all and I'd like to keep all four of them [Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić]. But Rio's 33 now and has clearly lost a yard of pace compared to five years ago. So even though in the past he may have relied on that pace, there's no reason why he can't tailor his game and be absolutely fine.

I don't think he's got a problem. He's been a fantastic, consistent performer for us for around eight years now. He's still got great presence, he can still tackle, can still head the ball and is still one of the best in the country in terms of his use of the ball. The only thing that's changed is his pace, and he can adapt to that.

Weekend result
Saturday: Everton FC 0-1 Manchester United
(Hernández 19)
De Gea; Jones, Vidić, Evans, Evra; Park, Fletcher, Cleverley (Nani 57), Welbeck (Valencia 73); Rooney; Hernández (Berbatov 67)

• Jonny Evans returned from suspension as United claimed a third successive away win, though they were grateful to see a free-kick from the home side's Leighton Baines come back off the crossbar.

Team news
Smalling (foot), Ashley Young (toe) and Tom Cleverley (ankle) have all been ruled out by Sir Alex, but Rafael (shoulder) is back in training and available. Darron Gibson (foot) has been unavailable since August, with Ryan Giggs absent since 15 October because of a hamstring problem.

Oţelul
Coach Dorinel Munteanu

Yes, it's the same story as in Bucharest. Manchester United are the favourites, but we're going to give it everything we've got to get a positive result here. We'll see after the game [if we can spring a surprise]. We've got 90 minutes to do that, we have to show belief. It'll be a good atmosphere and I hope it'll be a good footballing spectacle.

Everything's gone OK, everybody's nervous but we hope the nerves disappear just before kick-off. Everything will be decided out on the field. They're a big team, but as long as we enjoy it I expect the players to give a good account of themselves. Nerves are normal, as we're facing a big team, but I'm hoping the lads can shake them off by the time the game starts and put in a good performance.

It's hard to say before the game [how it's going to pan out]. It's difficult to know what strategies and changes will work against a big team like this, but I'm hopeful of us getting a good result. We've got three more chances to achieve something, even if that doesn't happen tomorrow we've still got plenty to play for against Basel and Benfica. A draw here would be a dream.

Weekend result
Friday: Oţelul 1-0 CS Gaz Metan Mediaş
(Sârghi 48)
Grahovac; Râpă, Perendija, Sârghi, Sălăgeanu; Giurgiu, Filip; Antal (Iorga 53), Viglianti (Paraschiv 67), Ilie (Frunză 81); Punoševac

• Cristian Sârghi, who had not scored for over a year before Oţelul's 2-1 win at FCM Târgu Mureş on 22 October, made it two goals in as many games as the Galati outfit claimed a third successive win.

Team news
Laurenţiu Buş, sidelined since 2 October with a left ankle problem, will miss out at Old Trafford, though defensive midfielder Ioan Filip (right leg) and Adrian Sălăgeanu (knee) are both available and trained on Tuesday evening. Summer signing Daniel Chávez, yet to feature in the league or UEFA Champions League this season, is not expected to be back to fitness until next week.

Match fact
Including UEFA Intertoto Cup ties and UEFA Cup qualifying rounds, Oţelul have played 11 away matches in Europe and their record reads: W2 D2 L7. Their only previous visit to a European Cup-winning side brought a 5-0 defeat at Juventus in the 1988/89 UEFA Cup first round.

Last updated: 27/11/12 4.24CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007629/prematch/preview/index.html#sir+alex+gives+otelul+credit

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