Man Utd boss Ferguson prepared to battle

Fergie told The Sun: “I don’t think you can avoid that because we will be up against a team that will be battling against us for the top honours.

“It will probably be more competitive than the FA Cup final because in that game there was tiredness in both teams.

“I couldn’t get any more out of some of my players.

“They had been playing at an incredibly high standard every week with the title in the balance and were dead on their feet.

“The other thing that didn’t help was the Wembley pitch which was also a bit dead.

“Being a new pitch, they had problems with it and it didn’t help the speed of the game.

“But the pitch has had time to settle and I’m sure this will be a much better game.”

Fergie added: “In terms of sheer talent, this is probably the best squad I’ve had during my time at the club.

“But the name of the game is winning. We want to win games as well as play entertaining football.

“And getting that balance right is the big challenge for us again.”