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Fergie rues CL exit as Ajax wait in Europa

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LONDON, England, February 14 – Sir Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United’s Champions League exit still leaves a bitter taste because he believes his side were good enough to have reached another final.

United return to European action this week in the second tier Europa League against Ajax after missing out on the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2006.

Benfica and Basel progressed at United’s expense, but veteran manager Ferguson remains convinced the English champions, beaten by Barcelona in last year’s final, are still a European powerhouse.

“It was a massive disappointment, because my feeling is that if we’d gone through, we would have gone on to the final,” he said.

“The problem was the home game against Basel,” added Ferguson, who has twice lifted the Champions League with United, in 1999 and 2008.

“We ended up losing our concentration and though we managed to salvage a draw, it was a bad result,” he said. “We dominated the return game, but didn’t score and when that happens you don’t deserve to win.

“I don’t feel we’re that far away from Barcelona and Real Madrid. I’m sure we’ll show that soon.”

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