"The final has a great attraction to it. We recognise the challenge of Villa. The final won’t reach the emotional stage of the semi-final ties. It’s a different game, but it’s a cup final with two good teams."
- Sir Alex Ferguson
Video: Press conference in full
Sunday’s Carling Cup final may not live up to the emotional excitement or have the cutting edge of the semi-final ties with Manchester City, but Sir Alex Ferguson described the match as “serious business” and will pick a team with one aim in mind: lifting the trophy.
The current Carling Cup holders got to the last four of the competition with a heavily youth-laden side. But being drawn against City changed the focus for United, and the hard work that has been put into reaching Wembley will be matched with a team determined to finish the job against Martin O’Neill’s Aston Villa.
“The final has a great attraction to it,” said Sir Alex. “We recognise the challenge of Villa. The final won’t reach the emotional stage of the semi-final ties. It’s a different game, but it’s a cup final with two good teams. The pitch is much better than it was last year. It’s improved, so it should be a good game. The last time we played Villa in a final they beat us 3-1 in 1994, it cost us a Treble. I hope it’s involved in a Treble this time too. We hope that we pick the right team and perform properly.”
United will need to be on top form against a Villa side that has taken four points off the Reds in the league this season. “The first half at Old Trafford they