Previous
Chelsea
West Ham United
Dec 26, 2014 12:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Burnley
Liverpool
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Everton
Stoke City
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Manchester United
Newcastle United
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
West Bromwich Albion
Manchester City
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Queens Park Rangers
Dec 26, 2014 5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

Tactics & Analysis
Read

Top 10 moments for Liga MX in 2014

Liga MX
Read
By ESPN Staff

Fergie confident Man Utd will bounce back

Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Manchester United will bounce back from the disappointment of their defeat by Liverpool when they begin the defence of their Champions League trophy against Villarreal at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The Premier League holders lost 2-1 at Anfield on Saturday where afterwards Ferguson claimed United had defended "like a Conference side".

However, a trip back to Scotland to officially open a new youth centre for the Harmony Row Youth Club, the Govan team he started playing football with as a ten-year-old, seemed to have mellowed the Glaswegian who targeted 10 points from Group E, which includes Celtic and Danish side Aalborg.

"You have to recover, that's the name of the game," he said.

"It's the Champions League and I think we are in a good group and I think we have a good chance of qualifying.

"The way I look at the Champions League is to get to 10 points. "If you get that you know you have qualified and you can look forward to February when it really starts to kick-in."

Ferguson will come up against one of of his former players, Gordon Strachan, in the double-header against Celtic.

Another former player, Motherwell boss Mark McGhee, who played at Aberdeen under Ferguson in the 1980`s, leads Motherwell in to their UEFA Cup tie against Nancy in France on Thursday.

Ferguson also finds himself facing an increasing number of managers in the Premier League who were once under his tutelage.

The Old Trafford boss joked that his former charges are following in his footsteps because he made them think managing is "easy".

However, he admitted that he thought only former United skipper Bryan Robson, currently out the game, was a "certainty" to make the grade.

"I am pleased with all my old players, there are quite a few now (who are managers)," Ferguson said.

"If it's Sunderland it's Keane, if it's Wigan it's Bruce, Sparky (Mark Hughes) at Man City and now I've got Incy (Paul Ince) to worry about. There are so many.

"It's hard to say why so many of my old players have become managers - maybe they think it's easy having worked with me.

"But I look at some of them and I never thought they would be managers. The only one I thought was an absolute certainty to make it was Bryan Robson.

"I think he was a terrific manager, I just didn't think he got the breaks."

Ferguson welcomed the opening of the new state-of-the-art pitch and complex at Braehead and waxed lyrical about learning his skills on the streets of Govan as a youngster.

However, the former Rangers and Dunfermline striker pointed to photographs of United striker Cristiano Ronaldo on the wall as proof that the game has become global and that role models are not necessarily local heroes.

He said: "Role models are always important but these days you can turn your television on and watch Italian and Spanish football and get your role models from there.

"You see photographs of Ronaldo here and that's not by accident. That is to inspire young kids here because he is the best player in the world.

"He is the best player in the world because he practises all the time, he wants to be a better player all the time and I think that's key to it.

"You don't become a footballer by just turning up on a Saturday and just playing. If you are prepared to work at your skills and practise then you can get to a level like that.

"But these facilities definitely help young players."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.