PRETORIA: Manchester United's South African tour was an investment in the club's future despite losing Saturday's Vodacom Cup final in a penalty shootout against Kaizer Chiefs, Sir Alex Ferguson said.
Misses by goalkeeper Ben Foster and midfielder Chris Eagles consigned United to a 4-3 penalty defeat against the Johannesburg-based Chiefs on Saturday.
The English Premiership giants saw countless good chances go to waste as the 90 minutes ended in a 0-0 draw.
But with youngsters Foster, David Jones and Dong Fangzhou all impressing during the three-game tour, the United boss insisted the club would reap the benefits from the tour for years to come.
“There were 15 players out on that pitch who can go on to play for Manchester United for the next 10 years and that's a fantastic thing for the club,” he said.
“So the tour has lived up to my expectations, the players have boosted their fitness and the young players have done well.
“The expectations are always high at Manchester United and our pride is always important whenever we play, so we are disappointed not to win.
“We missed a lot of chances to win the game and it's no surprise that we lost on penalties at the end considering my record in shootouts!”
Ferguson, meanwhile, admitted that he might call off keeper Foster's proposed season-long loan to Watford after failing to secure a deal to sign West Brom's Polish stopper Tomasz Kuszczak.
United have offered £3mil (US$5.6mil) for Kuszczak, but West Brom are holding out for a player-exchange deal involving keeper Luke Steele and a loan move for striker Giuseppe Rossi.
Ferguson said: “We haven't been able to bring in Kuszczak from West Brom because they have rejected our offer, so we have to make a decision on Ben.” – AFP