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Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 21:56 UK

Ferguson lauds Man Utd 'maturity'

Sir Alex Ferguson cut a contented figure at the Luzhniki Stadium
Ferguson cut a contented figure at the Luzhniki Stadium

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says his side's "maturity" was behind their record-equalling Champions League away record.

United beat CSKA Moscow to match Ajax's benchmark of 14 games unbeaten on the road in the Champions League era.

"The away record is something we should be proud of," said Ferguson.

"It is not easy away from home in Europe and we have been to some fantastic places over the years. I think it shows maturity."

Antonio Valencia grabbed the winner against CSKA late on as United were rewarded for their perseverance.

"There is a way of playing in Europe away from home and I think you saw that (against CSKA)," said Ferguson.

"We showed good patience and retained good possession and I think that was the key factor."

He added: "We are very pleased with our performance.

"The situation in the group is now nine points. I have always maintained that you need 10 to qualify.

"We now have a home game against CSKA in two weeks' time which we hope can take us to the next stage."

Ferguson shrugged off any concerns of the artificial surface at the Luzhniki Stadium and cited how summer signing Valencia is starting to settle following his summer move from Wigan.

Valencia scored his first goal for the club against Bolton last Saturday before his effort in Russia.

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"He has been the plus point for the last two weeks," said Ferguson.

"He is settling into the club, his confidence is stronger and he has tremendous assets for a wee player - strength, balance, feet and a good crosser of the ball.

"The area he hadn't shown was goalscoring ability. We said when we signed him this was his challenge to progress as a footballer.

"Now he has scored two in two games and that will help him."

Ferguson took central defender Rio Ferdinand off just before the hour but said that was a precaution ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Liverpool.

CSKA could not capitalise and manager Juande Ramos conceded United deserved their win.

"We were playing very good for 80 minutes but later in the match we got tired and lost concentration and that cost us all three points," said the Spaniard.

"Manchester United were the more classy team. They were very good in possession, while we made too many mistakes in the very end.

"United have already (virtually) qualified, while three other teams in our group have equal chances for the second place into the knockout stage.

"We are set to perform better in the remaining matches and enter the play-offs."



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see also
CSKA Moscow 0-1 Man Utd
21 Oct 09 |  Europe
Wednesday football as it happened
21 Oct 09 |  Football
European football gallery
21 Oct 09 |  Football
Man Utd 2-1 Wolfsburg
30 Sep 09 |  Europe
Besiktas 0-1 Man Utd
15 Sep 09 |  Europe
Giggs in running for Euro award
18 Oct 09 |  Europe


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