Sir Alex Ferguson Encourages United to Accept Challenge of Strong Preseason Schedule

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Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Manchester United‘s challenging preseason schedule will truly toughen them up for next season. Sir Alex looks at United’s participation in the 2017 International Champions Cup, where they will face some of the richest and most powerful clubs in the entire world, and encourages the Red Devils to rise up.

He’s thrown down the gauntlet to Manager Jose Mourinho, motivating him to prepare his younger players to reach the highest level, once the competitions do have meaning in the regular season.

  “The great thing about United is you’ve got to accept the challenge of beating the best,” Fergie told ManUtd.com, the club’s official website. 

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

United won the preseason tournament in 2014, beating Liverpool in the title match (as much as you can have an actual title match in preseason) in Miami. It was part of Louis van Gaal’s famous undefeated preseason summer.

In 2015, they had another opportunity to claim the ICC championship (on total points) when they battled Paris Saint-Germain at Soldier Field in Chicago. However, PSG won 2-0 to claim the championship (if there is such a thing as a championship achieved through an exhibition match) that night.

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This summer, United begins their ICC campaign with a Manchester Derby on July 20th in Houston, Texas. Then they’ll face Real Madrid on the 23rd in Santa Clara, California. Their International Champions Cup campaign concludes with a battle against Barcelona on the 26th in Landover, Maryland.

All in all, that is an ambitious slate, by preseason exhibition standards.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington TimesNBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes to WGN CLTV and KOZN

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