FOOTBALL NEWS

07/08/2012 22:48, Report by Adam Marshall

Lack of goals no problem

Sir Alex Ferguson is unfazed by United's lack of firepower in pre-season as he insists match fitness is the main aim.

While a 0-0 draw against a team of Barcelona's calibre is something to be pleased with, there has not been the usual barrage of goals often associated with pre-season tours. Indeed, Shinji Kagawa's winner against Shanghai Shenhua is the only time the ball has hit the net in the past three DHL tour games.

However, the boss is far more intent on ensuring the Reds get it right at Goodison Park on 20 August when the Barclays Premier League gets underway again.

"I'm not concerned at the moment," he insisted. "I would be if we'd started the league. This is preparation for us and some players need game time after being involved in the Euros. They need that 28-day rest and, after that, there's make-up time. I'm trying to give them all enough game time to get them to the proper pitch before the season starts. That's what pre-season is for.

"We took Danny Welbeck off at half-time in Norway. Tonight, we gave him most of the game and took Wayne [Rooney] off. We're just trying to get all the squad as much football as we can."

Although Barcelona won the penalty shoot-out, the manager was satisfied with the overall performance against one of the best sides on the planet.

"I think when you play Barcelona, it's well known they get an extra man in midfield because they don't play a central striker," he reasoned. "You have to be patient and make sure they don't get into spaces beyond your centre-backs or inside your full-backs.

"We played some good football at times and both teams worked well. Their goalkeeper had the best save of the match from Shinji. It was a brilliant save and a decent work-out for both teams. Obviously we're going to have to use the next few games in order to get everybody to a good pitch. That's all it's about now - getting everybody plenty of football."

MoreUnited lose on penalties | Boss hopeful over van Persie

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