24/12/2008 14:13, Report by Steve Bartram

Reds United again

United's jaunt to Japan wasn't just a success on the field, but also off it, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.

Another huge piece of silverware was procured in the shape of the Club World Cup, but the chance to build team spirit could ultimately prove more important.

"After the final, the players had a great time together," the manager revealed. "We were up and away early the next morning, so I don’t think a lot of them slept that well.

"But after the game I allowed them a bit of relaxation on their own, they had their own time together and I think that was good for them. They all had a good sleep on the plane, and then they had a good sleep when they got home, so I think it’s worked out very well for us."

The Reds have two Premier League fixtures to make up on their rivals, but Sir Alex feels that winning the Club World Cup can provide a timely fillip for the second half of the season.

"There’s no question it’s a great boost to the club and the players," he admitted. "It was a great achievement, and the most important thing is that they played well – surprisingly well in the sense that a lot of them had trouble with their sleep patterns.

"They showed good enthusiasm during the matches and good concentration, which is the most important thing in these types of games. So we’ve come through it well, with very good performances."


Premier League