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Source: Goal.com



Sir Alex Ferguson has sent a warning to Spanish giants FC Barcelona ahead of their Uefa Champions League semi-final return leg at Old Trafford, revealing he is preparing to unleash Wayne Rooney on Tuesday night.

The England forward was given a defensive role in wide midfield during the 0-0 draw at Camp Nou in the first leg on Wednesday, with Rooney and Park Ji-Sung given the task of occupying the dangerous Barca full-backs.

Ferguson was thrilled with the 23-year-old’s selfless performance, but insists it will be Rooney’s attacking flair that earns the plaudits this week.

“Wayne sacrificed himself on Wednesday and he had no problem when I told him what I wanted from him,” the Scot said.

“Wayne's a team player who sacrifices himself all the time. He has the great ability and bundles of energy to do that for the team.

“Although he didn't play to his normal standard he'll be playing a different position on Tuesday. You will see a different Wayne Rooney then - believe me.”

Straightforward Result

With the likelihood of back-to-back goalless draws between United and Barca being extremely remote given the two teams’ attacking philosophies, the Red Devils will almost certainly have to win outright to reach an all-English final with either Chelsea or Liverpool.

But Ferguson believes there is an advantage in having to win to progress, insisting it simplifies the task by eliminating the safety blanket that an away goal would have provided.

“It can be a difficult scoreline so we could have done with an away goal but we didn't do that so we have to win the game,” he said. “It's straightforward.

“We've had some difficult games at home the last few years but we have done well and beaten teams like Milan, Roma and Inter Milan.

“But if someone would have told me at the start of the season that to get into the Champions League final we'd have to win our semi-final at Old Trafford I'd have taken it, absolutely. There's no doubt about that.”

Disappointing Attitude

Ferguson was widely criticised for the defensive attitude he employed in the first leg, where Cristiano Ronaldo was used as the lone forward while Rooney, Park and Carlos Tevez took up combative midfield roles.

And while he admits his team will have to improve if they wish to defeat a Barca line-up filled to the brim with attacking flair, the Scot is adamant that United will lift in front their home crowd at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.

“The atmosphere and the fact that we are at home will help us,” said Ferguson. “We know we were disappointing in Barcelona in terms of our contribution to the game - although we defended very well.

“We were disappointed because normally one of our great strengths is keeping possession of the ball but we didn't do that which was a surprise. It's true that it was the kind of disciplined defensive performance that you don't normally associate with United but I think the players realised it was a massive game.

“They realised too that Barcelona always get a lot of possession of the ball because the Nou Camp is a big pitch and they always have a spare man in midfield which makes it difficult for opposing teams. We have proved down the years that we put in consistent performances at Old Trafford in Europe more often that not.

“And history has shown that when we need a big performance and result at Old Trafford then we get one. And I believe we will beat Barcelona.

“The game won't get to penalties believe me. We will win it.”

No Doubt

The United manager has also backed star winger Ronaldo after he missed a crucial third-minute penalty at Camp Nou, insisting he will not be removed from his spot-kick duties and is certain to bury the next penalty United receive in the back of the next.

“Ronnie (Cristiano Ronaldo) will take the next penalty we get,” Ferguson added. “There's no doubt about that - and he'll score.”
 

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Davey baby chips 'n' gravy
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Yeh, come on Wayne lets the see the magic that chipped David James and struck that absolute classic against Newcastle!
 

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Davey baby chips 'n' gravy
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But his work rate and skill is second to none and his one moment of magic can turn a game around.
 

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It was disgusting to see Rooney in such a defensive role..he should of been the lone striker and Ronaldo on the wings..okay so Ronaldo doesn't track back often? Well Fergie maybe you should teach him too..?

Thank god Rooney will play striker vs Barca...I am sensing another commited attacking 7-1 performance from the red devils...maybe not the same scoreline but the same attacking intent...

I don't know why people keep saying that Man United are favorites especially after the 0-0 at Nou Camp...to me it certainly looks like the odds are for Barca...if they have a scoring draw then we are knocked out...if they win we are knocked out...if they get a 0-0 draw we go to extra time...the only way we can go to the final is via a win whereas they can go to the final if they draw or win...certainly they are favoured in that sense?
 

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i hope rooney gets his form back woth 3 games to go..and hopefully a 4th....
because rooney when on form is untouchable....one of the best players when in form...this season has not been his best in case of scoring but he has mmatured and is providing more......
but when rooney when starts to score...he tends to get quite a few...hope he scores in all the upcoming games...our defense can do the rest ;)
 

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If he is allowed play where he is best ie. up front, then he will no doubt cause lots of probles for Barcelona....however i can see him being moved onto the left and ronaldo and tevez being deployed more centrally...shame really as i think rooney is more influential than tevez... but no matter where he plays, its gonna take a very good performance on tuesday from everyone to get through..

p.s hello, im new!!
 

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Barca know are threat they play us down in the media because they fear us yes they are a great group of players but as a team we are a better unit
 

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I think that if he is given the chance, he will run them ragged and could potentially destroy them.

He could be the key player

That is, of course, if he plays because of his injury :cool:.
 

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Davey baby chips 'n' gravy
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I am not too sure about this injury he has right now and I am slightly worried. I mean Fergie says he's fine, but we will find out on Tuesday.
 

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donnys_element said:
If he is allowed play where he is best ie. up front, then he will no doubt cause lots of probles for Barcelona....however i can see him being moved onto the left and ronaldo and tevez being deployed more centrally...shame really as i think rooney is more influential than tevez... but no matter where he plays, its gonna take a very good performance on tuesday from everyone to get through..

p.s hello, im new!!
Hi and welcome to the forum. Why not make a new thread in the 'New Members'
section and tell us a bit about yourself.
 
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