London, July 21(ANI): Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said there will be no repeat of last season's Champions League and Europa League shambles by the 19-times English champions this time around.
Ferguson said last season his tactics of playing youngsters in the group stages of the Champions League backfired on them, but insisted lessons have been learnt from the disastrous experience.
Before the last season, United had reached the finals in three of the four previous Champions League campaigns but was dumped out in the group stage last year.
Even more embarrassing, United failed to make it out of arguably the easiest group in the competition, containing none of Europe's true giants but teams like FC Basel, Benfica and Otelul Galati.
Ferguson, who believes his current squad can go on and win the Champions League next May, said he and his players will not lose their focus in Europe again.That definitely won't happen next season. There's no chance of that. Over the last few years, we've used the group stage as an opportunity to play the youngsters. Last season it backfired on us," The Daily Mirror quoted Ferguson, as saying.
"We changed the team too much. We won't be doing that this season. I just think we were careless. The killer was the game against Basel at home [which ended 3-3]. We could have been 5-1 up at half-time but were really careless in that game," he added.
"We were unlucky against Benfica at home because we played well, but that Basel game was a real killer for us," he said.
Asked if his current crop of players were capable of landing a third European crown for United, Ferguson said: "Oh yes, definitely. Absolutely. There's no doubt about that."
"Don't forget that Nemanja Vidic only played six games for us [in Europe] last season, while Darren Fletcher was a loss too," he said. (ANI)