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The Toe Poke

Sir Alex ready for tough decisions

Sir Alex Ferguson says there will be no room for sentiment as he looks to reverse the disappointment of Rome when Manchester United take on Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday.

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Defeat in the Italian captain against Barcelona in 2009 was a bitter pill to swallow for Ferguson, who will be looking for his third Champions League title as United boss.

Ferguson has a whole host of options within a squad which is considered to be the most versatile in the Premier League, but some of his Premier League champions will miss out on a place in his starting XI to face the Spanish title holders.

It seems certain, for instance, that Michael Owen will not be involved after he played the whole 90 minutes of Gary Neville's testimonial on Tuesday evening.

"It is not easy picking a team because you are dealing with the human side of the game,'' said Ferguson. "Players have worked ever so hard for the team all season and it has been a squad game for us anyway. Unfortunately there is one person who has to tell them and that is me.

"It is not an easy job but it has to be done because we want to win the game. They all understand that. I pick the team for the right reasons and I pick the substitutes for the right reasons as well.

"The only thing that matters at this club is that you win. Even then, you don't just sit back and think about this season. Maybe next season is our biggest challenge. Who knows?''


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