TOUR 2011 NEWS

30/07/2011 22:40, Report by Nick Coppack in Washington DC
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Boss: Tour a success

Sir Alex Ferguson labelled the pre-season tour a success after United made it five wins out of five by beating Barcelona in Washington DC.

Goals from Nani and Michael Owen gave the Reds a 2-1 victory over the European champions at FedExField, to add to triumphs over MLS All-Stars, Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders and New England Revolution.

As well as forming a winning mentality in the squad, Sir Alex is satisfied that the tour has helped his players reach full fitness for the new season, and that he’s given enough game-time to both his new signings and younger players.

“We're happy winning the match against Barcelona,” he said. “To be honest, both teams made a lot of changes so it's difficult to gauge exactly the importance of the result.

“But the expectation is for us to win all games and we're delighted to go into the season with a winning frame of mind. We've integrated the new players well – they've done well settling in with players they don't really know.

“I'm sure we're fit, I'm sure we've got a good squad and I've got some good young players coming through. These are all plusses – we have a squad able to deal with the demands of the English and European game.

“Now we move on to matters back home and hopefully we keep our form.”

One of the Reds’ three summer signings, David De Gea, played the full 90 minutes and Sir Alex again emphasised the Spaniard’s capabilities.

“Replacing van der Sar is very difficult,” the boss said. “He was a great goalkeeper, but the benefit we have with De Gea is that he's 20 years of age.

“The qualities he has that stood out for us are great composure, great use of the ball, he's quick, agile and I think we banked on that. When we assessed him I thought he was the right goalkeeper to take.”

Rafael was forced off after only 17 minutes but Sir Alex added: “He got a knock in a challenge with... [Sergio] Busquets,

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