Rio Ferdinand is confident Manchester United will get back to winning ways in the Champions League Champions League campaign when they face Otelul Galati in Romania on Tuesday.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are still searching for their first victory in this season’s competition after drawing their opening two group matches against Benfica and Basle.
It took a last-gasp Ashley Young goal to salvage a point against Basle after United squandered a two-goal lead, but the 2011 runners-up remain favourites to emerge as Group C winners and Ferdinand is confident of securing three points against Galati.
The Romanian minnows, who are making their debut in the competition, have been beaten in both matches so far and are likely to face a refreshed United after Ferguson started without Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Nani, Javier Hernandez, Anderson and Antonio Valencia in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool.
“We could have done with winning the Basle game. It wasn’t to be but that is what the Champions League is about. It gives you obstacles to get round,” Ferdinand said.
“We have made it a little bit more difficult than we would have liked, with two draws in our first two games, but we don’t go away from home in any game with the intention of drawing. We want to win. This is no different.”
With a derby clash against Premier League leaders Manchester City looming on Sunday, Ferguson must decide whether now is the time to restore Rooney to the starting line-up after he admitted the England star was devastated by the UEFA suspension that threatens his participation in Euro 2012.
Rooney was handed a three-game ban from competitive internationals following his red card in England’s qualifier against Montenegro and Ferguson wasn’t willing to gamble on the player’s volatile temperament at Anfield.
If he intends to keep Rooney out of the line-up, Ferguson is likely to turn to Hernandez, who was keen to remain a reluctant hero after his late equaliser against Liverpool.
“I scored a goal but it is Manchester United that scored,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who scored the goals. There are no heroes here.”
Ferdinand is certain Ferguson will be making good use of his squad, with plenty of rotation expected in Romania.
“I am sure the manager will rotate the squad and we will have fresh players for all the games,” he said.
“The great thing about this squad is whenever the manager rotates it, there are players coming in of genuine quality who are good enough to win us games.
“We will take nothing for granted but whoever plays, we should be confident of going out there getting a positive result.”
After winning the Romanian title for the first time in their 47-year history, Galati have had to play their European matches 118 miles away from home at the national stadium in Bucharest as their own stadium is not big enough to cope with Champions League fixtures.
They currently occupy an underwhelming mid-table position in the domestic league and boss Dorinel Munteanu, who holds the record as Romania’s most capped player with 134 international appearances, knows a shock victory over United would be a major boost to Romanian football after several years in the doldrums.
“To qualify for the Champions League meant a lot,” he said. “But our work is just starting. Now comes the real examination of the players, the manager, the directors and our entire city.
“Our aim is to make Romania proud and to gain international respect for Galati.”