MANCHESTER UNITED manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists only once his side have claimed a fourth Champions League crown can they claim to be enjoying a golden period in their European history.
United have contested three of the last four finals, a return which not even current holders Barcelona can match, but the schoolings the Premier League champions received at the hands of the Catalans in Rome and at Wembley have left Ferguson with a sour taste.
“It’s not a golden period for us because we have lost two finals, so I don’t think it can be called a golden period,” said Ferguson ahead of tonight’s meeting with FC Basel.
“We have been consistent in the Champions League, our form away from home has been outstanding and we hope we can do better this year and win it, that’s the aim of this club all the time.”
United will again be without leading scorer Wayne Rooney and Ferguson was unwilling to put a date on his possible return. The England striker missed Saturday’s draw at Stoke with a hamstring strain and will be joined on the sidelines by Javier Hernandez.
“He’s not playing tomorrow. It’s difficult to assess with hamstrings but we hope we have him back quickly. He did a bit of jogging this morning but that’s all,” said Ferguson.
Basel won their opening fixture in Group C 2-1 against Romanian side Otelul Galati, while United were fortunate to escape with a draw from their visit to Lisbon on match day one