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"We played Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea very early last season and ended up getting off to a flyer. We’ll be aiming to do the same this year."

- Sir Alex Ferguson

28/07/2012 16:11, Report by Nick Coppack
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Sir Alex eyes flying start

Sir Alex Ferguson wants Manchester United to "get off to a flyer" this season, as the Reds aim to win back the Barclays Premier League trophy from neighbours Manchester City.

City pipped United on the final day of the 2011/12 season to win their first league title in 44 years. With success comes pressure, however, and Sir Alex is determined to turn up the heat on Roberto Mancini's men right from the beginning of the forthcoming campaign.

United begin the season with a tricky trip to Everton on Monday 20 August, 24 hours after City host Southampton at the Etihad Stadium. Not that playing catch-up from such an early stage is something that worries the boss.

"The Monday night start doesn’t bother me," Sir Alex told the club's official monthly magazine, Inside United. "That’s not a big factor. The fact it’s Everton away holds much more weight.

"It’s a tough fixture and we’ve not found it easy there in recent years, despite some good results. We can’t complain, though. We had a tough start last season, too.

"We played Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea very early and ended up getting off to a flyer. We’ll be aiming to do the same this year."

Indeed, the Reds' start last term - Sir Alex's men won six of the first seven league fixtures - was the best by a Manchester United team since the Premier League's inception in 1992/93. Similar results in August and September this time around would go a long way to helping United mount another title challenge in the manager's 27th season in charge.

Also on Sir Alex's wish list is a better showing in the Champions League. The Reds went out of last season's competition at the group stage, finishing third behind Benfica and FC Basel.

"That was very careless," he told Inside United. "We can't accept that. We're better than that. "And I played a part in that as well. I took too many risks with team selections, played too many young players in certain games.

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