Manchester United were unconvincing in their 1-0 win over AmaZulu in South Africa.
Federico Macheda scored the only goal midway through the first half as United took the first steps in their bid to wrest back the Barclays Premier League title they lost to Manchester City in dramatic circumstances on the final day of last season.
An experimental United side looked short of their best, with goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard called on to make a couple of decent saves, while the hosts were only denied a penalty due to an offside flag.
Yet with four players in the United line-up who have yet to make their competitive debuts - and more introduced in the second half - perhaps a low-key outing was to be expected.
United new boy Shinji Kagawa made a late substitute appearance too and Ferguson will expect a substantial improvement during United's 22,000-mile pre-season campaign.