Belfast Telegraph

Cole expects big reaction from United

Andy Cole has insisted Manchester United will emerge stronger - not weaker - from their Barclays Premier League title misery.

Former Old Trafford favourite Cole dismissed any suggestion United could struggle to get over the agonising manner in which they surrendered the championship to neighbours Manchester City.

He said: "I would imagine that next season the boys will come back much stronger, determined to try to win the Premier League again."

Cole, now an official ambassador for United, backed Ferguson to ensure they would not take this season's outcome lying down.

He added: "The gaffer's very, very disappointed that we lost it the way we did do but, ultimately, he brushes it all underneath the carpet and says, 'Hey, it's gone now - let's look towards next season'. He always does that.

"He'll bring in new players, everyone knows that, and he'll have a right good go at it again. Because that's what the manager is. He loves a challenge.

"He said that when we won our 19th championship, he said that last season, that we love a challenge and whoever throws down the gauntlet, we're prepared to challenge them.

"Man City have done that now and, no doubt, are going to be a challenger."

Having lost the title on goal difference, Cole envisaged Ferguson strengthening in midfield and up front in particular.

"He's let a centre-forward go in Michael Owen, so he might look in a centre-forward position," Cole said. "He's been linked with a couple of midfield players as well, so we'll just have to wait and see."

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