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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 7, 2009

Fergie aims to bury United's ghosts from Rome

Sir Alex Ferguson says last season's Champions League final defeat will drive Manchester United on to more success this term. Despite landing three major honours, United have spent the summer looking back on a horrible night in Rome, where they were badly outplayed by Barcelona. In the build-up to Sunday's Community Shield showdown with Chelsea at Wembley, the Red Devils chief revealed his belief that, just as triumphs bring greater determination, so the agony of losing such an important game can be used as a major motivational tool.

"Adversity is always an important factor in developing and improving," he said.

"I have always reacted well to adversity over the years and whenever we lose a match I tell my players that the next game is the important one - the match we have to focus on.

"That has always been the case here at the club.

"When you lose the last game of the season you have two or three months to reflect on the disappointment.

"We have not enjoyed that. But we will cope - and we will bounce back."

Ferguson has a defensive headache to deal with this weekend.

Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown, Gary Neville and Rafael Da Silva all missed Wednesday's defeat of Valencia and have already been ruled out of the Chelsea encounter. John O'Shea is pencilled in for an appearance in United's back four alongside Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Jonny Evans this weekend.

But Belgium international Ritchie De Laet made an eye-catching contribution to the Valencia victory at right-back, while Northern Ireland Under-21 star Craig Cathcart would also have been picked had he not suffered a minor groin strain in training on Tuesday.

In addition to that dilemma, Ferguson also faces a major decision about who to play in goal now that Edwin van der Sar has been ruled out for a couple of months with broken fingers.

Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak are pushing to replace the Dutchman and both men figured for 45 minutes in midweek. "I do have a decision to make over the goalkeeper for Sunday," reflected Ferguson.

"Both Ben and Tomasz have outstanding qualities. Tomasz made two great saves last night, as he did against Boca Juniors, so we will see."

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