"Wednesday is so important. Today is partly about getting attacking combinations such as Alan Smith and Louis Saha, and Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher, right for Romania. Without Ronaldo, we lose a bit of width and I need to get my team playing in the right shape."
"It's a game between the two biggest teams in the country and pride is at stake for both fans and players. It's all right saying it's just a warm-up game but, once the teams take the field, it's obvious it's more than that. It won't necessarily be a barometer of the season ahead but it will be competitive."
Ditto this season's Premiership. "I think the Championship will be between ourselves, Arsenal and Chelsea.
"I think Liverpool will improve this season and Newcastle will do better, particularly away from home where Nicky Butt will do a great job for them, but we three have a head start. We've got the biggest squads and resources."
And the squad:
Howard, Carroll, G Neville, Brown, Silvestre, O'Shea, P Neville, Keane, Djemba-Djemba, Giggs, Smith, Saha, Bardsley, Tierney, Richardson, Forlan, Fletcher, Scholes, Spector, Bellion, Fortune.