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United ready to step up Euro challenge

sports Updated: Jul 10, 2007 11:12 IST
Pete Oliver
Pete Oliver
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Manchester United's influx of summer signings will help them mount a stronger challenge in Europe next season, Alex Ferguson said on Monday.

"I have said many times that we should have done better in Europe. Last season was the third (Champions League) semi-final we have failed in and we don't like that," manager Ferguson told a news conference.

United won their first English league title for four years in May but their Champions League hopes were dashed in a semi-final defeat by AC Milan.

Ferguson has since strengthened his squad with England midfielder Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich, winger Nani from Sporting Lisbon and Brazilian international Anderson from Porto.

Argentina striker Carlos Tevez is also set to sign and Ferguson believes United will be better equipped to try and win the European Cup for the third time, second in his reign after their victory in 1999.

"We think we should be doing better and I think signing these players does give us a bigger chance," he said.

"It brings us quality, experience of Europe and a good intensity of play so I'm very hopeful that we can do better."

United were on course for a possible treble last season but were undermined by injuries in the run-in, also losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

"I think it gives us a really strong squad for next year. That was maybe our downfall last season," Ferguson added.

"When it came to the final part of the season we just didn't have enough of a squad to handle all the competitions we were in."