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Ferguson looking for Europa success

16 February 2012 04:24

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson reiterated his desire to win the Europa League ahead of his team's clash with Ajax on Thursday.

United suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Swiss club Basel on December 7 to end their Champions League hopes, a bitter blow for the 2010/11 runners-up.

Despite being demoted to the second-tier European competition, Ferguson said his side would not be taking the Eredivisie champions lightly as they push for glory.

"I feel good about it," Ferguson said. "It is a tournament we are going to try and win. I think I made that point after the disappointment of Basel."

"I think we have a responsibility to do better than we did earlier in the season, which was unexpected, but it happened and we have to get on with it."

"We have an opportunity to do better in the second half of the season and the Europa League is a challenge. There are some very good teams in it and hopefully we can do well."

"We have some young players who don't have a great deal of experience playing in Europe, so being in a European tournament should be ample motivation for them."

"There's a final in Romania, they want to be there, I want to be there and so do the supporters, so I won't find it difficult to motivate them."

United will be without a number of first team regulars at the Amsterdam ArenA, but Ferguson insisted the team he picked was as good as could be expected given the club's run of injuries.

"Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov are injured. We rested Patrice Evra because I think it was an emotional weekend for him. I think it was the right thing to do," he said.

"But if you see the list of players we have, (Chris) Smalling's still injured (Nemanja) Vidic and (Darren) Fletcher are still inured, so it's a strong squad we've got (given the injuries)."

United striker Wayne Rooney said the team's confidence is high after overcoming some stern tests over the past month.

"I'm really enjoying my football and the team are really playing well at the minute," Rooney said.

"We've had a lot of difficult games over the last few weeks and I think we've come out of them really well. Some of the performances have been first class."

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Info

Competition
UEFA Europa League
Date
16 February 2012
Kick-off
19:00
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 2
On aggregate
2 - 3
Venue
Amsterdam ArenA (Amsterdam)
Attendance
48966

Goals

0 - 1
0 - 2
85' J. Hernández
 (assist by W. Rooney)

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
34
15
37
17
22
18
25
# Player Bookings
22
25
19
40
12
13
42

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