John O’Shea insists there’s plenty of cause for optimism following the Reds’ 2-1 victory over Boca Juniors in Munich on Wednesday night.
"It was important to get the first game out of the way so quickly after travelling back from the Far East," O'Shea said.
"It was against top opposition too – Boca Juniors have some very good players, Riquelme in particular. They kept the ball well and it was a good pre-season work out for us."
Goals from Anderson and Antonio Valencia sealed the win and they attracted particular praise from O’Shea.
“It was especially good for Valencia. He’s an all-round winger whose turn of pace is amazing.
“I think he’ll be a huge addition to our squad this season. He attracts two defenders all the time and he’s going to create space for our other attacking players. He was a huge positive for us and he’ll just go from strength to strength.”
Valencia’s goal may have had a touch of luck associated with it – the ball squirmed under Boca goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri – but Anderson’s opener was simply sublime.
The Brazilian rifled a free-kick from the wide angle of the penalty area into the far corner of the net to notch his first goal in a United shirt. It must have come as a relief for the 21-year-old as his inability to find the net had long been the subject of good-natured banter from team-mates and fans.
“It was one of those funny things,” O’Shea admitted, “but thankfully it’s out of the way for him now and he can kick on.
“We have a handful of players who can take free-kicks but he’s definitely staked a claim to take the next one. We’ve seen him in training and he can score all different types of goals, whether they’re form inside or outside the box.
“We’ve lost a lot of goals from the team with Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez leaving but it’s up to the other players to step up and take their chances. Anderson’s going to score goals now and so will Valencia. We just need to make sure we keep creating chances.”