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Owen Hargreaves will remain in USA for treatment...

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confessed he has been impressed with his players fitness levels and performances on their pre-season tour of North America.

The Red Devils, who finished second to Chelsea last season in the Premier League, defeated Celtic 3-1 in their opening game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Dimitar Berbatov, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley were on the score-sheet against the Scottish Premier League giants. And Ferguson was delighted there was no ounce of lethargy in his squad after the summer break.

"The first game is one you want to get out of the road because fitness comes into it, as does the time you give to your players. I was pleased as some of the performances were good,” Ferguson told MUTV.

"We try to get the preparation to a point where they want to want to start playing games. There was a little bit of boredom in the training yesterday [Friday].

"They had seven days at Carrington, four days in Chicago. They were desperate for a game. The one thing pre-season brings on is the desire to start playing games.

"No-one likes pre-season. It does not matter how good it is. Nobody enjoys it because it is rough and tough. It is the hard bit of the game. Thankfully we are on that route of playing."

Ferguson was delighted with the spirit of his side after coming under heavy pressure from Neil Lennon’s men.

"There was a period after Celtic scored when they got a bit of dominance over us and we had to get through," he added.

"The second goal killed the game. It was a fantastic goal too, a marvellous bit of football from [Dimitar] Berbatov.

"Celtic were very competitive. That's been the way when we have played them. There is not a lot in it between the two teams because the Scotland-England thing motivates both sets of players."

Ferguson has confirmed that midfield lynchpin Owen Hargreaves will remain in the United States for treatment on his long-term knee injury.

"He had a recurrence of the knee injury which is of great concern to us. He will remain there [USA] until he is ready to come back and train,” Ferguson added.

"There is no point in leaving the people who are treating him and did the operation and we have to send him back again. It is pointless."

However, there was a plus for United as Bulgarian international striker Berbatov - who came under fire last season for his lack of goals - was named as 'Man of the Match' against the Hoops.

"I was enjoying the whole game," Berbatov said. "We have started well with a win, Celtic are a very good team. They played very well.

"It's the first game of pre-season, still too early to judge, but it was a good test of our physical form and technical as well.

"When the summer comes you don't stop playing. You play with your friends. But when you come here you play with your team-mates, the season is starting. You come to new countries, see new people, play different teams and it's very exciting."

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