Ferguson slams ‘waste of time’ fixtures

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson
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Sir Alex Ferguson has branded the concept of international friendlies “a waste of time”.

Ferguson is currently in the United States, where he will launch Manchester United’s summer tour tomorrow.

But the United boss is obviously aware that England will tackle Ghana in a sell-out friendly tomorrow, 48 hours after his beloved Scotland were beaten by Brazil at the Emirates Stadium.

As a former international manager himself, Ferguson does understand why such matches are arranged.

But given so many senior players are often missing - his own Wayne Rooney was one of five released by Fabio Capello yesterday - Ferguson does not see the value.

“I am all in favour of the competitions. The players should play in the major competitions; the European Championship, the World Cup,” he told US digital station Sirius XM.

“But friendlies are a waste of time as far as I am concerned. We always say that.

“It is understandable for the coach. They have the players for a period when they can influence them and can build and shape their team. I can understand that completely.

“But every time there are friendlies you get six or seven call offs.

“It is sometimes worthless for the manager to build on that because of the lack of players.”

United are set to unveil a five-match tour that will open in Boston on July 14 and conclude with a high-profile meeting with fellow Champions League challengers Barcelona in Washington on July 30.

The club have confirmed they will face the Major League Soccer All-Stars team at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on July 27.