Ferguson calls on Mourinho's Man Utd class of 2017 to 'accept the challenge of beating the best'

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The former Red Devils manager believes the pre-season schedule put in place at Old Trafford will help the club to push for more major honours

Sir Alex Ferguson is looking for Manchester United to “accept the challenge of beating the best” as they go in search of more silverware.

The Red Devils stagnated somewhat in the wake of their iconic former manager slipping into retirement on the back of a 13th Premier League title win in 2012-13.

David Moyes proved to be a forgettable appointment, while Louis van Gaal faced criticism of his playing style despite landing the FA Cup.

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Jose Mourinho was drafted in to turn the tide and delivered three trophies in his debut campaign, with United tasting success in the Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League.

Ferguson believes the club are now in a position to kick on, telling United’s official website on the pressure which surrounds the team ahead of another action-packed preseason: "The great thing about United is you've got to accept the challenge of beating the best.

Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United expectation

"The expectation is always there and the matches we'll face in the ICC are all big ones. It's very good for the younger players to come into this type of competition in terms of preparing to be a Manchester United player.

“The more intense the challenge they can get, the better prepared they will be when facing Manchester City in an important league match or Real Madrid or Barcelona in Europe.

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"The preparation to play in games as big as that can be started in pre-season tournaments like the ICC, which is fantastic."

United will take in a International Champions Cup derby date with City on July 20 in Houston.

Mourinho’s side will then face Real Madrid at the home of the San Francisco 49ers NFL team and Barcelona at the Washington Redskins’ FedExField.