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23/04/2009 10:45,
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The manager's column

Sir Alex pens his thoughts before every home game for United Review. You can read the column in full, the day after the game...

This is the time I love best – non-stop football, with every match now of immense significance, and the challenge of competing on a number of fronts as we close in on our dreams.

I will be deploying the full range of our resources as I seek to keep our teams at the level of energy you need at this level. It’s what I did when we won our unique Treble, resting players and bringing in others as I tried to pick teams fizzing for the fray.

Life at the top in the English game is fierce and relentless. The pace and intensity undoubtedly takes a toll, especially with so many fixtures coming at you so quickly on the last lap for trophies. You have to be up for every game or you can get punished, so I will juggle our squad in the hope that we can keep as many balls in the air and make progress on as many fronts as possible. As I have said repeatedly, we have a quality squad, rich in terms of both ability and numbers, and I intend to make full use of it.

That’s why you saw several changes in the line-up that went out against Everton at Wembley on Sunday, compared with the successful side that beat Porto in midweek. I was well aware it was the semi-final of the FA Cup, just one step from all the glamour and glory associated with the Cup final. We certainly wanted to be there, not least because it is a great day out for the fans and a special occasion, too, for the folk back home watching on television. But we must win the league championship and we have some tough games coming up, starting tonight as we welcome Portsmouth to Old Trafford.

So probably more changes for this fixture, to keep everyone as lively as possible – and if you were ever in doubt about the value of freshness in a team, you just have to look at our experience against Porto in the Champions League.

In preparation for the first leg at Old Trafford

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