Man Utd boss Ferguson regrets allowing Stoke's Shawcross to leave

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted regrets allowing Ryan Shawcross to leave for Stoke City.

Shawcross returned to his former club last night but, despite an impressive individual display, couldn't stop City losing 2-0 courtesy of penalties in each half from Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov.

Ferguson said: "It always grieves me when I have to release a young player of great potential, and Shawcross certainly fell into that category.

"He had the misfortune – though he perhaps doesn't see it that way considering the success he has had with Stoke – of coming through along with a number of other young defenders.

"This was the era of Gerard Pique and we kept him at Ryan's expense, only I didn't know that Gerard was growing homesick and soon after was telling us he wanted to go back to Spain.

"He has prospered with Barcelona as we know, and if I had known he wanted away then I would have kept Ryan Shawcross."

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