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May 10, 2010

Ferguson rues Bayern defeat

Sir Alex Ferguson says his side's Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich was the biggest disappointment of the season but feels Manchester United still enjoyed a positive campaign.

United went into the final game on Sunday still in contention for the Premier League, but Chelsea's 8-0 win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge ended any hope of a dramatic turnaround in the title race.

Although they clinched the Carling Cup in February, it rounded off a disappointing season for Ferguson, with United failing to make a third consecutive European final after a quarter-final exit to Bayern in April.

Ferguson criticised Bayern after the second leg when he felt their players had sought to get Rafael sent off and, after going out of the competition on away goals, he feels his team should be playing Inter Milan in the final on May 22.

"The European Cup was the biggest disappointment," he said. "We should be in final because we were the better team. We just didn't have the luck on the night and that's what can happen in football. You need a bit of luck."

Ferguson insists it was a positive campaign for his team, though, rejecting suggestions the squad requires substantial changes over the summer.

"How you view the season depends on whether you focus on the low moments or look at the positives," he said. "It is the old conundrum as to whether you see the glass as half empty or half full.

"My job as manager is to assess and analyse in the cold light of day and get things into perspective. Did I always make the right team selections? Do we have a strong enough squad?

"I have to separate fact from fiction, like the suggestion we have not seen the vintage football associated with Manchester United. We have to measure the successes against the disappointments and, taking everything into account, I think we are on the credit side."

He added: "Darren Fletcher has emerged from the shadows to become recognised as a really top footballer. Nani has come of age, Darron Gibson has had a good season and Jonny Evans has been fantastic, while Antonio Valencia has done incredibly well in his first season.

"Behind them I have great faith in the futures of players like Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda, Javier Hernandez, Gabriel Obertan, Mame Diouf and Chris Smalling. In fact, we could field a very good under-21 team."

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