Ferguson looks to Mourinho for tips on Barca

MANCHESTER - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will seek tips from old rival Jose Mourinho on how to beat Barcelona in the Champions League final after his second-string side cruised past Schalke 04.

A thumping 6-1 aggregate win after Wednesday's second leg put United into a third European Cup final in four years and Ferguson need not have lost sleep after all over his weakened team selection versus a German side punching above their weight.

United will face Barca at Wembley on May 28 in a repeat of the 2009 final which the Spaniards won 2-0.

Although Ferguson is not frightened of the favourites he will welcome any tips from Real Madrid's boss Mourinho whose side beat the Catalans in the King's Cup final.

"I speak to him quite a lot. I spoke to him last week," Ferguson told a news conference when asked about Mourinho, an old sparring partner of the Scot in his Chelsea days.

"We will depend on our own knowledge of Barcelona, it's not like we've never seen them before. (But) you always take information from him (Mourinho) because he's always helpful like that."

Mourinho's Real were Barca's European semi-final victims on Tuesday but success in the domestic cup proves that the hot favourites can be beaten.

"I don't think we should be going there lacking in confidence... We can't be frightened out of our skins," Ferguson said.

"Our job is to find a solution when playing against them."

Ferguson has become only the second man to lead his teams into as many as six European finals -- one with Aberdeen and now five with United including four Champions League finals.

Italian Giovanni Trapattoni is the only mnaager to have gone one better by steering his teams to seven European finals.

While Ferguson fielded a mainly fringe side for the second leg against Schalke, making nine changes from the first leg, he will need all his big guns and the experience they bring when they face Barca and their exquisite passing game.

"We were favourites last time (2009)," said Ferguson. "We will be a little bit more experienced but they are at their peak in terms of ability.

"That experience has shown in terms of our away form in Europe. It should be a really good final."

United did not concede in any of their Champions League away games this season and have only let in four goals in total.

Ferguson admitted having sleepless nights over what lineup to play on Wednesday with a key Premier League game at home to Chelsea looming on Sunday.

United's defeat by Arsenal at the weekend has opened up the title race as Chelsea closed the gap to three points and the champions can go top on goal difference with a win over United.

"It was not an easy decision to make, one I wrestled with for a few days... the Arsenal result forced the situation," Ferguson said of his team selection.

He said he was determined not to let a mid-week European game against German opposition destroy his season for the second successive year after handing the advantage to Chelsea last season just after a quarter-final with Bayern Munich.

"So, a fresh team on Sunday," he said. "We'll go for it."


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