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Sep 14, 2009

Fergie: I would love to play Barcelona again

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he would relish another chance to face Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final this season, admitting the manner of the defeat affected him so much he took DVDs of the game with him on holiday to analyse.

The Manchester United boss witnessed his side succumb 2-0 to the Catalans in last season's showpiece in Rome and Ferguson revealed that some harsh lessons were learnt that night.

''I would love the chance to redress the situation with Barcelona. Absolutely. I would love another final with them," he told the Daily Star. "You look at that defeat and you can look at reasons and excuses. But it's always better to look at the reasons.

"We're now quite clear about where it went wrong and that's always helpful. There were valid reasons and so we were able to move on. I wouldn't go into the reasons for the defeat but I did take the DVDs with me on holiday and watched the game again.

"We went through everything too, with my backroom staff. The whole build-up. Everything. Was it the right hotel, was the training right? So we are quite clear about where we are now with that defeat.

"I quite like these games. It's not a problem. What went wrong against Barcelona can be put right. Certainly it will all be put right. I didn't kick myself over the summer. I have been long enough in the game to know that you can't win them all.

"Sometimes you just have to accept that bad days come along and you move on from there. It was disappointing though. You don't like losing finals of European games. It was the first one I have lost so it was really disappointing for everyone."

The Red Devils begin their European quest with a trip to Besiktas on Tuesday and Ferguson is expecting a lively atmosphere.

"There's a lot to be admired in that, their fanaticism," he added. "You expect that. The stadium is full at 12 o'clock on the day. It's amazing how they make that noise but you just have to deal with it.

"The Champions League is the priority. It's a great tournament, with all the best players and teams. So there's always the two challenges for us - the Premier League and the European Cup."

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