Final hard to call – Ferguson

Manchester United find themselves in the rare position of being

underdogs for Saturday’s Wembley showpiece, even though they have

just claimed a record 19th title. However, with memories of the

one-sided encounter in Rome two years ago when the Catalans eased

to victory, it is Barca who are expected to win. “There is no

advantage,” declared Ferguson. “It doesn’t matter. We don’t decide

those things. I know my players will be ready.” Ferguson believes

concentration will be the key to an improved outcome. He prefers to

dwell on the two meetings with Barcelona in the 2008 semi-final,

when United were able to keep a pair of clean sheets, as the

template his side must work towards. “We showed fantastic

concentration in those two ties,” said Ferguson. “That is the key

for us. It is an important issue in terms of Saturday.” Ferguson,

whilst recognising Lionel Messi’s brilliance, is refusing to single

out the Argentina star for special attention. “We have played

against Barcelona three times with Messi in the team,” he said.

“But there is always a solution to every good player. Hopefully we

can find one on Saturday. “They have other good players though, and

so do we. That is why it is such an appealing game. “I am sure

Barcelona are aware of that.” Ferguson was asked about the

importance of Ryan Giggs to his team. However, it was immediately

obvious the United boss was not interested in discussing the

Welshman, who was named in the House of Commons yesterday as the

person at the centre of a privacy case. “All the players are

important to us,” he said. Asked about his relationship with the

Glazer family, Ferguson replied: “There has never been any problem

for me. “They let me get on with my job as the manager and that is

all you can ask for.” United’s meeting with Barcelona will be the

third Champions League final they have featured in since the

Glazers took control of the club.