Ferguson vows to start Nani

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Football News

Sir Alex Ferguson has promised Community Shield match-winner Nani he will start Manchester United's opening Premier League game at West Brom next Sunday.

The Portugal winger scored twice at Wembley as United charged back from two goals down at half-time to record a memorable 3-2 win over Manchester City.

"You have seen Nani's form in pre-season and again here. He will start the season," said Ferguson.

"Nani had a fantastic season last year. He contributed 18 assists and scored nine goals. He was unfortunate that Antonio Valencia came in at a time when we needed a bit of freshness and a boost to the squad."

Nani was just one of United's stand-out performers.

Wayne Rooney was a figure transformed from 12 months ago, whilst Ashley Young enjoyed a memorable debut and Tom Cleverley provided the attacking thrust Ferguson was hoping for when he was introduced, along with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, at half-time.

"We toyed with the idea of starting Cleverley," revealed Ferguson.

"I thought Michael Carrick's experience would be better suited to the game but we were always going to bring Cleverley on. I didn't know exactly where I could have played him but at 2-0 down, I knew Cleverley could get forward from midfield. We needed that type of player."

The result leaves Ferguson in optimistic mood ahead of the opening weekend, although the United boss is refusing to take anything for granted.

"I trust them and have confidence in the ability of the players but you can never be confident in the Premier League. It is such a difficult league. Six teams could be challenging for the title," he said.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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West Bromwich Albion
Manchester City
Phil Jones
Premier League
Michael Carrick
Manchester United
Ashley Young
Wayne Rooney
Antonio Valencia
Jonny Evans
Tom Cleverley

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