Manchester United arrived in Shanghai yesterday after a 16-hour flight from Cape Town to continue their pre-season tour.
On Wednesday afternoon the team go up against Didier Drogba’s new club Shanghai Shenhua.
Chinese fans were out in their hundreds to greet the team at the airport on Sunday evening. The squad and staff landed and didn’t have much time to settle into their team hotel before they were straight into a training session, one thing that the club have implemented for this tour is a rule that they must keep to ‘Manchester United Time’ – Meaning that timing schedules for all daily routines are on European time to prevent the effects of jet leg once the team returns to Manchester.
On Monday morning Sir Alex Ferguson was joined by Rio Ferdinand to address the Chinese media in Shanghai with all the latest squad and tour news, below are the bosses’ latest quotes:
On Chris Smalling’s injury:
“It’s not 100% Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic will start the season. Jonny will start running today. Vida and Phil Jones started full training today, which is very positive. If I can keep Rio fit, then Vidic and Jones should give us ample cover.”
Ferguson on Chinese fan reception:
“As we expected, there’s a great enthusiasm for Manchester United from the fans. We’re very pleased with that.”
Ferguson on more signings at Manchester United:
“We’ve signed two players in the summer – Kagawa and Powell. We think they both have fantastic potential. At this moment we’re looking at other options in terms of bringing other players in. We’re not lying on our backsides doing nothing. We’re trying hard to bring other players to the club.”
Ferguson on Lucas Moura:
“We haven’t reached an agreement. We’ve shown interest. Until such time we reach an agreement we can’t say he’s ours”
Rio Ferdinand on Shanghai Shenhua:
“We’re looking forward to playing Shanghai. It’s a great game for both clubs. Shanghai get to see where they’re at and the main focus for us is to get through the game unscathed and step up our fitness. There’s a lot of interest because of Drogba and Anelka but for us it’s just another game.”
Rio Ferdinand on Shinji Kagawa:
“I’ve been very, very impressed. I’d seen him play for Dortmund on TV and I looked on YouTube. He’s been fantastic. He’s quick, he’s sharp, he has great awareness, he plays off both feet. I’m excited about playing with him and getting the season started. He’s been one of the better players in Germany for the last few years. I think he’ll bring that form to Manchester United. I think he’ll be a great acquisition.”
Credit: Nick Coppack & Gemma Thompson – manutd.com