30/08/2008 10:02, Report by Steve Bartram

Boss takes solace in draw

United may have been beaten in the UEFA Super Cup, but Sir Alex Ferguson still left Monte Carlo in confident mood.

Friday's one-off showpiece was preceded by this season's Champions League group stage draw and, having been drawn alongside Celtic, Villarreal and Aalborg, the United manager was optimistic of successfully navigating Group E.

"Obviously the fact I'm going back to Glasgow will create a bit of spice but, for me, this is a group we can progress from," Sir Alex told his post-match press conference.

"Although we will miss Paul Scholes in our first match against Villarreal because of his red card tonight, Michael Carrick should be fit.

"We should be okay in terms of qualifying for the knockout stages. The team is making progress and we should be strong enough to get through."

The Reds' defence of the Champions League crown begins against La Liga's Villarreal on Wednesday 17 September.


Premier League