Fergie unfazed by Chelsea's physical power

May 21, 2008

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes his team have the skill to match Chelsea's strength and lift the European Cup.

Although his side went on to retain the Premier League title, Ferguson is still hurting by the defeat at Stamford Bridge.

He intends to put the record straight when England's top two go head to head tonight in Russia in the Champions League final.

He said: 'I have the players to do the job and I trust them.

'Chelsea are physically stronger than most of the Premier League teams but we do not need to match that.

'We have to play with our main strength, our movement and our passing, our ability to create openings in the game.

'We are in good shape and I do not want us to change too much.

'Maybe we don't have the overall experience like Chelsea in terms of age but we have courage.'

Certainly United have a variety of strong attacking options with the likes of 41-goal Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez to call on.

Tevez's loan spell is up next summer and United are hoping to tie him up on a long-term deal.

Ferguson said: 'Part of the plan is to have Carlos at the club in the long term. There is no question we want him to stay.

'I think David Gill (chief executive) is progressing on that as best he can.

'One of the reasons we are here in Moscow and won the title is because of Carlos.

'He has that ability to score important goals for us, just like Eric Cantona used to do.

'Carlos has been a revelation for us and is a fantastic professional.'

Ferguson insists, however, they are not a one-man band.

'The final is a big challenge for every one of my players,' he said. 'I depend on them all to be at the top of their game. That way we have a massive chance.

Defender Nemanja Vidic, who suffered a facial injury against Chelsea last month, sat out training last night.

However the club insisted he will play and a spokesman added: 'He is on a different training programme to other people.'

Ferguson has dismissed concerns about the pitch.

He said: 'I think UEFA have done their best. The fact they have relaid it from Astroturf to turf is a big delight to me.

'We are happy in that sense. You have to remind yourself that Old Trafford in January or February is not the best in the league.'

A UEFA spokesman added: 'In terms of the quality, we have made some tests in the last few days and it is perfectly fine.

'It may not look very, very green on television, but, essentially, it is a good pitch to play football on.

'At this stage, we are confident it will be fine.'