Ferguson: Late errors a motivating force

MANCHESTER - Manchester United must use recent late lapses in concentration as a motivating force, manager Sir Alex Ferguson said on the eve of their Champions League opener against Rangers which will see Wayne Rooney back in action.

Twice in the Premier League this season United have let in late goals to take one point instead of three - Saturday's 3-3 draw with Everton, when they led 3-1 on 90 minutes, and the 2-2 draw at Fulham.

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"What happened in the last couple of games away from home has to be a driver for the rest of the season," Ferguson told a news conference on Monday at Old Trafford ahead of the Group C match against the Scottish champions.

"The last moments in games when we were in front, it shouldn't happen...but we've been burnt twice.

"I think it's been a lack of concentration in defending in the last few moments. I don't think it's a frailty, it's a lack of concentration."

United will be lifted by the comeback from injury of defender Rio Ferdinand and the return of striker Rooney, who was left out of Saturday's squad to avoid abuse from fans of his old club over media speculation about his marriage.

Rooney trained with the squad on Monday and Ferguson said he had been boosted by scoring for England last week after a year without an international goal.

"I think his performance for England and scoring was as good a boost for him as anything," said Ferguson. "I expect a good performance from him tomorrow."

Ferguson said he stood by his decision to leave Rooney out of the team on Saturday.

"It was a benefit to our team. It was the right thing to do."

He said the team were trying to forget about last year's disappointment where they lost to Bayern Munich in the semi-finals on away goals despite looking comfortable with a two-goal aggregate lead at one point.

"We were very disappointed last year, there's no question about that...but we have to put that behind us," said Ferguson.

"Our home record over the years is very good and I hope that continues. Hopefully we can get off to the right start."

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