The memories of last year's embarrassing group stage exit were fresh enough for Ferguson to leave
Both should be involved against Galatasaray at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening (Thursday morning AEST), providing the firepower needed to shoot United to an expected victory in the opening game of its latest UEFA Champions League quest.
However, it is at the back Ferguson knows his side must improve.
Rarely has United been able to field a regular defence during a three-season period of group stage matches on home soil that has secured a paltry total of three wins.
Already this term,
Even allowing for
But Ferguson realises the position is precarious - and of huge significance.
"At the moment with Smalling and Jones long-term, I'm left with three centre-backs, Vidic, Ferdinand and Evans," said the United boss.
"If I was guaranteed two of those being fit for the rest of the season I'd take that gladly right now.
"It's not been the case in the last two or three years, when we have had a really rough ride.
"I've had to alternate centre-backs. Go back two years ago and we had Carrick, (
"That's a key issue. I can't hide that. I just hope I get a bit of luck in that respect."
The situation is not helped by a goalkeeping power battle between
Twelve months ago, Ferguson responded to mistakes from De Gea in his first few weeks as a United player by insisting the
But with errors continuing to be made, that situation is no longer certain.
Lindegaard was selected against Wigan and though De Gea may return against Galatasaray, the odds must be against the former Atletico Madrid man retaining his place for this weekend's crucial trip to
"The most important thing I'm trying to achieve is experience of the English game," said Ferguson.
"They are both young and don't have the experience of an
"That's the policy I have been adopting and I'm comfortable with it."
Ferguson confirmed Kagawa is fit to make his European bow after shrugging off a back complaint he picked up on international duty with
The northern summer arrival from Borussia Dortmund has quickly struck up an impressive partnership with
However, after being given an extended northern summer break by Ferguson, who told Hernandez he could not link up with his country's gold medal-winning Olympic squad as had been anticipated prior to London 2012, the 24-year-old is refreshed and ready to play a full part in United's quest for silverware.
"I don't like comparisons," Hernandez said.
"Some people thought my first season was very good, others felt it was OK. The last one was bad for some people, others thought it was OK or good.
"I enjoyed my break. Only time will decide whether it helps me but I am happy. I am enjoying myself.
"I still feel I am the luckiest player in the world to be at this club.
"I will be ready when the boss needs me, whether that is to start or be a substitute.
"I am focused on the most important thing, which is tomorrow's game."
English Premier League
Manchester United has announced that more than $300 million of its high-interest debt has been refinanced, cutting the club's interest costs by about $15 million a year.