If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Ferguson: RVP should have taken penalty
Nani would be willing to take another penalty despite his spot-kick failure in Manchester United's unconvincing 1-0 victory over Galatasaray - but it does not look like he will get the chance.
The Portugal winger accepted the responsibility in the Champions League clash at Old Trafford, and promptly became the third United player to fail, following Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez. "I took a bad penalty, Van Persie took a bad one. I would take one again," he said. "If the manager agrees I would do it - and score."
The manager will not agree, though. Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson had no idea why Nani was taking the kick in the first place, saying: "I think he just ran and grabbed the ball. I thought Robin should have taken it, to be honest with you. I think we will have to decide before the game. That was my fault, I should have done that."
In the end it did not matter as Michael Carrick's seventh-minute effort proved sufficient to secure the victory.
Galatasaray had penalty appeals at the start and end of the game turned down, hit the woodwork twice and also forced a magnificent double save out of David de Gea.
"The first 15 minutes we played very well and got the goal," added Ferguson.
"At that moment we thought it was going to be a good night. But we became very careless and every time we lost the ball, they counter attacked and were a threat. Missing the penalty kick kept them in the game."
The result was welcome given United's unexpected group-stage exit last term. It was also Ferguson's 100th victory in the competition, the first manager to do so. He dismissed that, though, saying it was merely because he has been a boss for the longest period.
Of more interest was the late substitute appearance of fellow Scot Darren Fletcher, playing for the first time since November as he battles to overcome a chronic bowel complaint.
"The supporters recognise what a tough time he has had for the last year," said Ferguson. "They gave him a marvellous reception. He has been out of the game for a year, it took him one or two minutes to get going but he can only be better after tonight."