Ferguson unconcerned by Ribery threat

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United have no need to fear facing Franck Ribery at Old Trafford tomorrow.

The Bayern Munich star has already caused the Red Devils some pain, scoring the equaliser in Germany last week, even if he did benefit from a pretty wicked deflection off Wayne Rooney.

Yet with United needing to attack in an effort to overturn Bayern's 2-1 advantage, the stage seems set for Ribery to prove why he is rated as one of the most dangerous wide men in the world.

Not that Ferguson sounds like a potential suitor.

After dismissing claims Ribery could worry Gary Neville by claiming he was "no faster" than the veteran United skipper, Ferguson displayed an air of confidence about his side's ability to cope with the France international.

"Franck Ribery is a very talented player and we recognise that," Ferguson said. "But we have played against a lot of great players over the years.

"In the last round we had to face up to Ronaldinho. He is a very talented player and similar to Ribery in many ways with his ability to take the ball and the fact he is not afraid to take it no matter where the ball is and no matter the opponent.

"We cannot worry too much about Ribery's threat. You have to play against the top players in the world because that is what the European Cup is.

"That is why the tournament is so exciting. We have been in the Champions League for 17 years and that experience helps you."

Having so much experience was one of the reasons why United's performance last week was such a surprise.

Once Wayne Rooney had scored so early on, it seemed likely the Red Devils would cruise to another notable European success.

Instead, they found it increasingly difficult to retain possession and ultimately succumbed to a defeat veteran winger Ryan Giggs insisted had nothing to do with complacency.

"Bayern weren't better than we thought because we played them in pre-season and we knew they were a good team then," Giggs said.

"They have got strength in depth and players who can come on and make a difference.

"Together with the history of the club, you always have to be wary of these teams because they have experience in the Champions League.

"We knew we were up against a good side. We just did not play as well as we know we are capable of."

Following up one loss by suffering another, even more damaging reverse to Chelsea on Saturday would be enough to dent even the strongest wall of confidence.

But Giggs insists belief within the Old Trafford camp remains strong.

"Losing successive matches does not shake the belief of the players," he said. "When you look around the dressing room and see the players around you, the belief has to be there because there is so much talent.

"We have been looking sharp in training over the last couple of days so the preparation has been good.

"As a professional you are disappointed when you have one bad result. When you have a couple it is even more disappointing.

"But you always have that next game to rectify that. Hopefully we can do it. I am sure we will."

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