Fergie makes Nani promise
Winger will start against Baggies after great Wembley display
Last Updated: August 8, 2011 7:55am
Nani: Will start against the Baggies next Sunday
Sir Alex Ferguson has promised Nani he will start at West Brom next Sunday after his man-of-the-match Community Shield display.
The Portugal winger scored twice at Wembley - including the injury time winner - as the Red Devils saw off the challenge of rivals Manchester City.
Nani also netted the equaliser to make the game 2-2, with the goal the product of a brilliant piece of close passing that also involved Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley.
It was a much better experience than the one he endured at Wembley just over 10 weeks ago, when he was left out of United's starting line-up by Ferguson and then gifted Barcelona their killer third goal in the UEFA Champions League final.
And the 24-year-old's reward will come in Manchester United's opening Premier League game at the Hawthorns where he will be a central figure as the Red Devils begin the defence of their title.
"Nani had a fantastic season last year," said Ferguson. "He contributed 18 assists and scored nine goals.
"He was unfortunate that Antonio Valencia came in at a time when we needed a bit of freshness and a boost to the squad.
"But you have seen Nani's form in pre-season and again today. He will start the season."
Nani was just one of United's stand-out performers.
Rooney was a figure transformed from 12 months ago, whilst Ashley Young enjoyed a memorable debut and Cleverley provided the attacking thrust Ferguson was hoping for when he was introduced, along with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, at half-time.
"You have seen Nani's form in pre-season and again today. He will start the season."
Sir Alex Ferguson Quotes of the week
"We toyed with the idea of starting Cleverley," revealed Ferguson.
"I thought Michael Carrick's experience would be better suited to the game but we were always going to bring Cleverley on.
"I didn't know exactly where I could have played him but at 2-0 down, I knew Cleverley could get forward from midfield. We needed that type of player."
The result leaves Ferguson in optimistic mood ahead of the opening weekend, although the United boss is refusing to take anything for granted.
"I trust them and have confidence in the ability of the players but you can never be confident in the Premier League," he said.
"It is such a difficult league. Six teams could be challenging for the title."