Date: 6th August 2009 at 3:38pm
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Sir Alex Ferguson has told of his his plans to ‘fill the gap’ after the departure of Ronaldo and drawn up goal targets for his players.

And, he pledged: ‘Fans will see us playing a slightly different style of football this season.’

The Old Trafford boss tells Inside United magazine, the club’s official magazine: ‘If we’re going to win the league again or do well in Europe we certainly need players to step up and help fill that gap.

‘Going back a few years we could always guarantee goals from Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in midfield. And, of course, there was David Beckham, who always pitched in with about 10 a season.

‘Those goals have dried up a little in recent years so we have to address that. Wayne’s capable of getting 18 or more goals for us, and Berbatov, who’s now had a first season to settle in, can get us more than 20.

‘Then we’ll be looking to other players sich as Park, Nani, Valencia and Owen and even Macheda and Welbeck – to contribute another 40 between them.

‘The defenders will contribute a few from set pieces, too. If Anderson ever scores, I think he’ll end up getting about 10 in quick succession. He’s promised me goals this year, actually. We’ll wait and see.

‘Usually you look for the team to score about 100 goals in all competitions, so we’re aiming for that again.

‘Obviously Cristiano is a big loss in terms of the goals he gave us but we’ll just have to find them from somewhere else, and our tactics will adjust accordingly.’


Sir Alex also explained his decision to sign Michael Owen at the age of 29.

‘It’s not a hard and fast rule but it’s true we tend to bring in players who still have more to give – those who can develop while they’re here. We like younger players and in the main i think w ehave done pretty well with them.

‘Michael’s 29 but he was on a free transfer so that falls outside the usual parameters. Nemanja Vidic was 24 when he came to the club and so was Patrice Evra.

‘It’s a good age because players already have some experience behind them but they haven’t yet fulfilled their potential. We can develop them and help them become better.

‘And we’ve been successful at doing that with a number of players – Rooney and Ronaldo and terrif examples of that. Ji-Sung Park too- he’s come on a lot since he arrived at United.

‘There’s not a black and white policy but we’re definitely conscious of the age factor and we like players who still have room to improve.’


Sir Alex also revealed that he would use the Carling Cup as a ‘platform’ for United young players to show what they can do.

Sir Alex also revealed he had been to the cinema to see United legend Eric Cantona in the Ken Loach film, Looking For Eric.

‘I saw it with the staff here and thought it was marvellous. Absolutely brilliant. Like all Ken Loach films it had a social message which was very strong. And I thought Eric was terrific in it. I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago, actually, and he said he really enjoyed doing the film and working with Ken. I think it should win awards.’

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