FOOTBALL NEWS

16/09/2013 13:46, Report by B Hibbs & N Coppack
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No Real revenge for Rio

Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United will not be fuelled by the frustration of last season's Champions League exit under "dubious" circumstances against Real Madrid; instead the defender's attitude is: "new season, new games".

Nani's controversial red card in the last 16 second leg tie against Real Madrid at Old Trafford came at a point when the Reds were seemingly in control of the game. Once reduced to ten men, however, United didn't readjust quickly enough and Real capitalised to score twice and progressed 3-2 on aggregate.

As disappointing as that was, it provides no additional incentive this time round as David Moyes' side kick-off the Champions League Group A campaign against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

"I don't think we need the extra drive or motivation," Ferdinand explained at the pre-match press conference. "We were all disappointed with what happened last season and how we went out. But we won't harp on about it. We continue and start again afresh this season. New group, new season, new games. Last season is out of our minds and not something we need to use as motivation."

Having won the trophy in 2008 and reached finals in 2009 and 2011, United fell at the group stages in 2011/12 and exited the tournament before the quarter-finals last time. The challenge, says Rio, is to improve on the previous year's showing, regardless of having been handed a tricky group, with Spanish side Real Sociedad and Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk joining United and Bayer.

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