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Sep 4, 2012

Phelan: No Euro slip-ups this time

Manchester United will not repeat last season's disappointing performance in the Champions League, assistant manager Mike Phelan has said.

Phelan said there would be no complacency in the ranks after United's failure to make the knockout stages for the first time in six years, finishing third in what looked to be a weak group behind Basel and Benfica, sending them into the Europa League.

And Phelan says United - who have made an unconvincing start to the season in defence - need to maintain top concentration as they take on Braga, Galatasaray and Cluj in this year's competition.

He said: "Europe's always big at this football club. The traditions are set within the European boundaries for Manchester United, and we know we have to do better.

"We let Europe slip from our grasp too easily last year. The players are conscious of that, although we haven't dwelt on it as that wouldn't be positive. We've put it down as a blip - but we know we have to do better."

He urged United to score more goals to lessen the need for "grinding out" wins and called for the players to remain focused at all times.

"You learn it's a team game, even though individuals change matches," he said. "Everybody has to be fully focused for the entire match, from first to last whistle.

"I think we also know that we need to score plenty of goals. The old days of being able to win the league by grinding out 1-0 victories is gone. In this league now, every goal counts - we want to create more chances and score more goals."

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