We must use Champions League exit as motivation, says Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson could not hide his disappointment in wake of his side's shock Champions League exit after a 2-1 defeat by Basel

sir alex ferguson
Ferguson's side will now compete for the Europa League title The Sport Review

sir alex ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has called on his Manchester United side to use their Champions League elimination as motivation for the rest of the season after Wednesday’s shock defeat in Basel.

The three-time winners fell behind in the ninth minute after Marco Streller capitalised on poor United defending before Alexander Frei added a second six minutes from time.

There was time for Phil Jones to bundle home a late consolation but Ferguson admitted their premature exit was a huge disappointment as last year’s runners-up finished behind Benfica and Basel in Group C.

“Of course we’re disappointed, there’s no other way you can feel,” said Ferguson. “It’s part of football. You have to deal with the disappointment, and this club has used it as motivation many times.

“These young players will feel disappointed tonight but they’ll have to cope with it and go on with their careers.

“Our results in the last few years have been outstanding. It’s a loss because it’s the best tournament in the world. It’s a marvellous tournament.

“It wasn’t a good start to the game. We expected to try and control the game by getting control of possession. They’ve scored through their first real attack.

“When you’re away from home and you’re 1-0 down you have a job to do. The opportunities we had we didn’t take them and that was the story of the game.”

Ferguson admitted that competing in the Europa League is not ideal for his side, with United already five points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League.

“The Europa League is a competition I’ve never been in with United. It does mean one thing, it’s right through Thursdays and Sundays, so that’s got to be dealt with,” he continued.

“It’s not the best. [But] that’s our penalty for not qualifying tonight.”

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