The Red Devils boss is prepared for a tough match against a fit Major League Soccer team in the first game of this summer's World Football Challenge.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Revolution might not be the furthest thing from Barcelona but they’re certainly nowhere near the same class. There’s also a major difference between playing in the Champions League final at Wembley than a preseason game at Gillette Stadium.
But Manchester United, fresh off its Premier League title and Champions League final appearance against Barcelona, isn’t overlooking one of Major League Soccer’s worst teams as the squad begins its tour of the United States Wednesday night against the Revolution.
“We expect it to be a difficult game, as we did last season,” Ferguson said. “All of the games were very, very tough. So we look forward to it. Hopefully, we do ourselves justice. The most important thing is taking a step forward in terms of fitness, which is one of the reasons we are here.”
Last season, Manchester United suffered a 2-1 loss to the Kansas City Wizards before beating the MLS All-Stars 5-2 in front of 70,728 at Reliant Stadium.
"It was a reminder that no matter what game you go into, you can lose a game of football if you don’t prepare properly and don’t have the right attitude,” Ferguson said.
While Ferguson is trying out different lineups, looking at young players and getting his team fit for the upcoming season, the media and fans will treat the friendly as if it were a regular-season game. Ferguson is left with no choice but to take the MLS team seriously, even if the game isn't much more than a glorified practice session.
“I think that it is difficult for us to play friendly games because of the expectation,” Ferguson said. “Even with a friendly game there is always the criticism from the press, your own fans, and from our own staff. We can't go into any game not wanting to win, so that will be the case against the Revolution.”
The last time Manchester United took the pitch was back in May when it dropped a 3-1 decision to Barca, which is led by Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi. On Wednesday, it will face names like Benny Feilhaber, Kevin Alston and Shalrie Joseph.
You'd think Ferguson would be able to guarantee a win.
“They have to work hard because I think the Revolution will be ahead of us in fitness,” Ferguson said. “We experienced it last year."
Justin Churchill contributed reporting to this article