Ferguson rests Manchester Unitedís senior players for battle with Galatasaray
Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to rest most of his senior players on Manchester United’s trip to Turkey. The Old Trafford boss is relishing the return to Turkey, where Manchester United is scheduled to battle against Galatasaray in the Champions League.
Round about 19 years ago, Manchester United were kicked out of the European competition by Galatasaray at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium. The Turkish football giants have moved to the Turk Telecom Arena since then, but their rivalry with Manchester United remains unchanged.
The Manchester United manager and his team managed to evade a large number of fans at the airport by exiting through a separate terminal. Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he was a bit intimidated by the Turkish football fans on his first trip to Turkey, but since then he has grown accustomed to their fanatic support.
“We didn't get the greeting by the fans (this time) - we dodged that,” Sir Alex Ferguson confessed. “In 1993 when we came here it was incredible.
“It was something new and quite frightening. But we've been here a few times since and we're getting used to the Turkish fanaticism and enthusiasm. It's no issue for us.”
Darren Fletcher will be handed the captain’s armband in the absence of senior players like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. Sir Alex Ferguson told reporters that this time round Manchester United were entered Turkey with a fearless mentality. Well, that should be the case as Manchester United has already qualified for the Last 16 stage of Champions League.
“It'll be hostile - the fans are really passionate,” Sir Alex Ferguson said. “I've not played against Galatasaray but I've been to Bursaspor and Besiktas and it's a unique atmosphere.
“It's a challenge and something we have to experience. For me it's a new stadium, a new occasion and you want to enjoy the experience. Hopefully that brings out the best in your performance.”
Michael Carrick will be partnering up with Scott Wootton in Manchester United’s defense. Phil Jones, who has been out of action due to knee surgery, will finally make his first appearance for Manchester United.
“It's a big day for Phil Jones,” Sir Alex Ferguson continued. “He's been out all season but has done enough training to make sure his fitness is okay.
“They've all been different types of injuries and because he is young, he's still to develop physically. He's only 20 years of age so there's plenty of time for him.”
Sir Alex Ferguson’s summer signing from Crewe, Nick Powell, will make a memorable appearance for Manchester United against Galatasaray.
“Most of them will have experience of big games and big crowds,” Sir Alex Ferguson said. “Obviously for Nick Powell it's completely different - he's played in front of 76,000 as a substitute but this will be his first European away game.
“It will be a big day for him but he has the temperament, which is important. We don't consider the young players a gamble. What we do consider is our reputation and we have to be fair to the other teams in the group.
“When we discussed the team for tomorrow we had to give serious consideration to how the media and the public would react, so we had to think hard about the team we picked.”