Saglam has sympathy for United boss

Bursaspor coach Ertugrul Saglam has revealed his sympathy for Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of Wednesday's Champions League tie at Old Trafford.

Last Updated: 19/10/10 at 19:59

Ferguson: Has a friend in Saglam

Ferguson: Has a friend in Saglam

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Saglam has twice been forced to carpet star man Volkan Sen for going AWOL this season.

On both occasions it was discovered Sen had taken an unsanctioned visit to the United States to visit his girlfriend.

Saglam eventually stood Sen down for two matches, and the midfielder is only expected to be on the substitutes' bench tomorrow night as the Turkish champions look to gain their first point in Europe's number one club competition.

So, it was with some sympathy that Saglam assessed the plight Ferguson finds himself in.

"These problems occur from time to time with players," he said.

"We have experienced something similar ourselves in the last couple of weeks, so I know what it is like to have player problems.

"But Manchester United have the depth of quality in their squad to know that whoever they put in to replace Rooney is likely to be of a very high standard.

"I certainly don't think it is going to be an advantage for us, or a disadvantage for them."

Defeats to Valencia and Rangers already in their Group C campaign have left Bursaspor knowing they must gain something at Old Trafford to maintain any realistic hope of reaching the knockout stages.

They can draw comfort from the fact one Turkish side, Besiktas, ended United's long unbeaten run in the competition last year, while another, Fenerbahce, were the first team to beat United at Old Trafford in European competition back in 1995.

Not that Saglam's own memories of England are so great, having been the manager when Besiktas were demolished 8-0 by Liverpool at Anfield in 2007.

"That was a difficult defeat to swallow," he admitted.

"But we did also beat Liverpool in Istanbul a couple of weeks before that, which is a far more positive result to look back on.

"In all honesty, neither of those occasions is going to have any bearing on tomorrow.

"It is going to be a tough game for us and we will need to be at our best to get anything from it."

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