Sir Alex Ferguson has tonight reacted to our Champions League draw, with United being handed a relatively easy group.
“We have the experience of playing against Galatasaray in the past and we will always remember the ‘Welcome to Hell’ banners,” he told the official site. “So it’s always a difficult type of match. We have drawn Portuguese clubs a number of times over the past few years – the likes of Benfica, Sporting and Porto – so we have the experience of playing in Portugal on many occasions. Braga are one of the improving teams in that country. Obviously, we’ve never played Cluj before but, after the experience of last year, we don’t want to make any stupid errors this time. We will play our strongest team to make sure we get through.”
United last travelled to Galatasaray in 1994 and were greeted with what has since been described as a cauldron of hate, a year after their first trip there.
Steve Curry, a journalist who was at that game in 93, has reflected on what it was like inside the ground that night.
“Turkish sides have a reputation for creating hostility within their stadiums and this night was to be the most frightening of my 45-year career,” he said. “The intimidation started at the airport as the team arrived. The ground had been full two hours before the game and the noise reached a crescendo by the time the teams took to the pitch. Sir Alex Ferguson was to suggest the police were more frightening than the crowd. He should have been in the press box where we had rubbish and antagonism raining down on us.”