Ferguson confident of strong Champions League challenge

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Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United will have a great chance of winning the Champions League this season, if they can keep their defenders fit.

With back-to-back victories in their opening two Group H games against Galatasaray and CFR Cluj, the Red Devils are busy preparing for the midweek clash against Braga, with a view to cementing their place at the top of their group, with three more points at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

However, despite their impressive start to the European campaign, defensive injuries have hampered them somewhat, with Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all sidelined, and missing most of the season so far.

Ferguson has overseen the best period of United's history in terms of trophies won, but even so, admits to being frustrated not to have won the European Cup more often.

"It is a frustration that we have not won the Champions League more often, especially when I think of the times we've thrown it away," he told the Daily Mirror. "But you can't let it eat away at you.

"You've always got the next year. The final is at Wembley this season and that's a great incentive for us. If I can get my defenders back, we'll have a great chance."

Reflecting on last season's English triumph - which resulted in Chelsea claiming their first ever European crown - Ferguson said that the Blues deserve credit for seeing off the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich en route to the trophy, but added that their was an element of luck along the way.

"The objective is to get through to the knock-out rounds - we want to do it the right way," he explained. "I thought Chelsea carried a little bit of fortune in that they got goals at the right time in Barcelona. But you have to give them credit.

"They were very strong and did some great jobs, defending, and defending is part of the game, too. We have suffered for bad defending over the years.

"The most important thing is that we score enough goals to win a game and that's part of United. It's part of what this club is."

UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
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