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Fergie takes the blame for Old Trafford defeat to Ajax

Manchester United edged progressed in the Europa League anyway but manager thinks he got the team selection wrong.

Alex Ferguson: mea culpa.
Alex Ferguson: mea culpa.
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

ALEX FERGUSON ADMITS he made selection errors as Manchester United progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League despite a 2-1 loss to Ajax.

United went ahead early in the game thanks to Javier Hernandez, as they pushed to a 3-0 lead on aggregate after last week’s 2-0 win in Amsterdam.

But Ajax drew level on the night thanks to a contentious goal from Aras Ozbiliz after Nicolas Lodeiro appeared to handle the ball. The visitors then grabbed a late goal through Toby Alderweireld and Ferguson admits he picked too many young players, particularly in defence.

“(I’m) disappointed,” Ferguson told Channel Five. “I’ve got to accept that I’m responsible for picking the team and tonight there were just too many young players in the back four positions.”

“They were all 19-21 years of age, so that was a big problem in terms of experience in the back four positions. It was a big risk we took.”

“Ajax are a fantastic football team in terms of keeping possession of the ball. You don’t expect them to take you apart at any time. Their first goal was a bit of a break for them. I thought it was a handball and (Ozbiliz) gets a shot.”

“They had a lot of possession but never really looked like scoring. But to get the goal gave them encouragement and in the second half they played very well. We only had one shot at goal in the second half and I thought we were very disappointing in that half.”

Defender Phil Jones donned the captain armband for United, but slammed his side’s performance as “nowhere near” good enough.

“I don’t think we were at our best tonight, everyone can see that. We got off to a great start, Chicha’s (Hernandez) scored a great finish and we were in control of the game,” Jones said.

“A little bit of complacency crept in and it has cost us. We should have won the game. We’ll probably review our performances tomorrow, then take it from there. It wasn’t good enough in the second-half, nowhere near.”

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