FOOTBALL NEWS

16/12/2008 13:30, Report by Gemma Thompson in Yokohama

United aware of Endo threat

Sir Alex Ferguson has highlighted Gamba Osaka midfielder Yasuhito Endo as the Japanese team's dangerman ahead of Thursday's Club World Cup semi-final.

The 28-year-old Japan international further enhanced his burgeoning reputation after scoring the winner in his side's 1-0 victory over Adelaide United to set up a last four clash with the Reds.

Sir Alex and his coaching staff took time out on Tuesday to study footage of Gamba's last round win and the boss was impressed by what he saw, particularly from Endo.

"He is their star player," insisted the Scot. "Not only did he score the decisive goal, he was the influential player in terms of possession of the ball.

"He actually changed his position from where he normally plays behind the centre forward after they lost two players in the first 18 minutes and played towards the left hand side. And it worked very well.

"Their Brazilian centre forward [Lucas] is also a very good player. He has quick feet and unusually for a Brazilian he is tall. He is a very effective player."

One player who doesn't need to worry about Endo is Ben Foster. Sir Alex confirmed during his press conference that the goalkeeper broke his finger in training last week.

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