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Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Fergie targets 'noisy neighbours'

ESPN staff

Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted that spectators at the August 7 Community Shield might get to see a stronger Manchester United side than usual, because he wants to "address the noisy neighbours".

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Ferguson spoke at a press conference ahead of United's forthcoming friendly with the MLS All-Stars. The Red Devils are set to come face-to-face with former favourite David Beckham and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

He first fielded questions about his transfer activity, having already spent over 50 million this summer. At one point it seemed likely that Wesley Sneijder would add to that bill, but Ferguson confessed over the weekend that he does not envisage another arrival following the captures of Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David De Gea.

On Monday he explained his reasons for failing to sign a direct replacement for Paul Scholes, revealing none of his remaining targets are available.

As a result, Ferguson is already eyeing the first chance to score a psychological blow in the Premier League title race this season, when his champions take on FA Cup winners Manchester City. Usually the Scot uses the Community Shield as an extra game to build fitness, but he admits it is different now that the opponents are their local rivals.

"It won't be a normal Community Shield for Manchester United," Ferguson admitted. "It's about addressing our noisy neighbours again. It will be an interesting match."

Ferguson also confirmed the likelihood that Javier Hernandez will not feature in his starting line-up come the first day of the Premier League season. The prolific striker has endured a busy summer with his national side, so United will look to protect the Mexican.

"We need to re-energise him and give him a lot of training before we consider him for the first team," Ferguson explained. "The league will not be won or lost in the first match."




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