Man Utd boss Ferguson: Benitez made up his mind January

He said: “Rafa’s achievement of two European Cup Finals in three seasons is fantastic but sometimes athletes can prepare for one big event.

“I think he made up his mind in January that he wasn’t going to win the League and that Europe would be his target – and he was helped in that when Liverpool got knocked out in the FA Cup third round by Arsenal.

“His target was simple and his preparation and tactics were very good. There is nothing wrong with that but it requires patience from your fans and courage to do it.”