Manchester United winger Park Ji-Sung has warned their rivals that they are confident of improving on last season's double triumph. The 27-year-old returned from a long spell on the sidelines to play a key role in United's Premier League and UEFA Champions League successes.
Despite being linked strongly with Tottenham Hotspur striker Dimitar Berbatov, United have not made any close-season signings ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener against Newcastle United at Old Trafford. But Park believes that the fact that manager Sir Alex Ferguson kept Cristiano Ronaldo out of Real Madrid's clutches is ominous for their rivals.
"We missed out on the FA Cup final last season so this time we will try to win every trophy," said the Korea Republic ace. "We have the ability so we will try to develop and achieve even better results than we did last season. I believe we can do it because even though we have no new signings, we haven't lost any players either, which is the most important thing."
Ferguson revealed he is pleased with the progress being made by Ronaldo in his return from a foot problem. "," he said. "For the next three weeks he'll be on rehabilitation, then endurance work and serious running before he goes into the football side with us."
Ferguson is predicting an entertaining encounter against Kevin Keegan's side as United start their title defence. "The new additions don't really matter because we know Kevin's style," he explained. "Kevin always has a go and that's a great quality the lad's got and I think we'll find that on Sunday."
Wayne Rooney is set to feature after a virus and Ferguson faces a dilemma over whether to use Wes Brown or Gary Neville at right-back.
Newcastle's new signing Fabricio Coloccini insists he can shackle his close friend Carlos Tevez as he looks forward to a baptism of fire at Old Trafford.
The £10-million defender is desperate to embark on his Premier League career after signing a five-year contract to seal a protracted move from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna.
Despite not having figured in pre-season, Coloccini has told Keegan he is happy to be thrown in at the deep end. And he claims his inside knowledge on fellow Argentina international Tevez will prove invaluable as his new club aims to pull off a huge opening weekend shock against Ferguson's European champions. "I'm looking forward to the United match, I'm fit and ready to play and hopefully can make a real difference to the team," said Coloccini.
"I can't wait to get started. , it's an exciting prospect. For me personally I don't consider it a risk playing at Old Trafford because I've got to play my first match somewhere so why not Sunday?"
A calf injury rules out England striker Michael Owen, with Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins a doubt as well. Jonas Gutierrez, another pre-season arrival, is also in line for his Newcastle debut after the Argentina international finally received clearance on his transfer from Real Mallorca.