Rio: United will get on track

After opening with a creditable point against Benfica in Lisbon,

United were expected to dispose of Basle with the minimum of fuss a

fortnight later. Instead, they tossed away a two-goal lead at Old

Trafford and eventually required a last-gasp Ashley Young goal to

salvage a draw. Although the damage is not too serious, now United

need to start winning against an Otelul Galati side who are making

their debut in the competition but have been beaten in both matches

so far. “We could have done with winning the Basle game,” reflected

Ferdinand. “It wasn’t to be but that is what the Champions League

is about. “It gives you obstacles to get round. “We have made it a

little bit more difficult than we would have liked, with two draws

in our first two games, but we don’t go away from home in any game

with the intention of drawing. We want to win. This is no

different.” After winning the Romanian title for the first time in

their history last season, Galati have the disadvantage of being

forced to play all their matches 150 miles away from home at the

national stadium in Bucharest. In addition, their form has not come

close to matching last season’s and they currently occupy a

mid-table berth. Theoretically, this should not pose too much of a

problem for a United side who have lost just once in their past 23

Champions League games away from Old Trafford, other than those two

final defeats to Barcelona in 2009 and earlier this year. However,

coming in between Premier League fixtures against Liverpool and

Manchester City, nothing can be taken for granted. And Ferdinand is

certain Sir Alex Ferguson will be making good use of his vast

squad, with plenty of changes from his starting line-up at Anfield

expected. “I am sure the manager will rotate the squad and we will

have fresh players for all the games,” he said. “The great thing

about this squad is whenever the manager rotates it, there are

players coming in of genuine quality who are good enough to win us

games. “We will take nothing for granted but whoever plays, we

should be confident of going out there getting a positive result.”