Sir Alex Ferguson Welcomes Manchester City Challenge

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he welcomes the challenge of big-spenders Manchester City because it prevents his club becoming Sir Alex Fergusoncomplacent.

Ferguson believes City may still add to their squad before the transfer window closes – he has previously stated he expects Samir Nasri to move there from Arsenal – and that Manchester United have proved before they can cope with the arrival of the super-rich.

Roberto Mancini’s side are United’s opponents in the Community Shield on Sunday but Ferguson said United will not change their approach to the game being just another part of their pre-season preparations, and that he would resist getting “emotional” about the game.

The last time the clubs met at Wembley was in April when City triumphed in the FA Cup semi-final, but Ferguson is looking to a long-termer success over United’s local rivals.

Ferguson said: “Because of the particular facet of the club that they have the money to spend I thought maybe they would spend more this summer and that may still happen, they may still sign a couple more players.

“We get this almost every year when clubs round about us buy, and that’s how you view the importance of winning the league these days.

“Chelsea had this great spell of buying when Jose [Mourinho] first went there and we accepted that challenge. It’s good to accept challenges, it keeps the complacency away from your door and we carry on as best as we can.”

In terms of the Community Shield, Ferguson is likely to make his team selection based around planning for the start of the Premier League season a week later.

He told a news conference at United’s training ground: “I have always viewed the Community Shield as a stepping stone to the first game of the season.

“It’s very easy to get emotional about this type of game but I don’t think we will be changing our policy.

“There may be two or three players who need the game on Sunday.”

Ferguson revealed that Michael Carrick is likely to miss the Community Shield after picking up a slight Achilles problem in Edwin van der Sar’s testimonial on Wednesday.

Darren Fletcher, Antonio Valencia and Rafael are all back in training however.

Ferguson confirmed the young Mexican striker Javier Hernandez will miss the start of the league season as a precaution after he suffered from a concussion last month.

He added: “Chicharito won’t be involved for maybe another two or three weeks – considering he had a concussion some years ago we are just playing safe with that but he should be back by the end of August.”

Ferguson also paid tribute to Paul Scholes, describing the midfielder as one of United’s greatest-ever players.

Scholes retired at the end of the last season aged 36 and United are playing a testimonial match for him on Friday against the New York Cosmos at Old Trafford.

Ferguson said: “To my mind he will go down as one of the greatest players of all time for Manchester United.

“I was with Fabien Barthez on Wednesday having a chat and he said ‘pass my regards on to Scholesy, he’s the best player I ever played with’.

“You see [Barcelona’s] Xavi talking about Scholes, and he’s in a better position than most of us to talk about midfield players, saying he’s the best player he has every played against.”

Ferguson joked that notoriously publicity-shy Scholes would not enjoy being in the spotlight.

He added: “He might not turn up – if an interview is involved he won’t, he will be quite happy with his slippers on!

“He will endure it – if he has to do an interview or something with the fans at the end of the game he will get through it somehow but he will not be looking forward to it.”

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