MANCHESTER UNITED manager Alex Ferguson was as pleased with a third consecutive clean sheet as he was with the 2-0 victory over Otelul Galati which took his side top of Group C.
After the 6-1 humiliation at home to nearest rivals Manchester City the Red Devils have managed shut-outs against the Romanians, Aldershot in the Carling Cup, and Everton in the Premier League.
And while the first two may have not posed that many problems to a much-maligned defence this season Ferguson argued the cumulative effect was significant.
"Winning was going to be important for us because of the position we were in after drawing our first two matches," said the Scot, reflecting on back-to-back wins against Otelul which has put his side back in the driving seat.
"I am pleased our work-rate was very good, we didn't lose any goals and that is an important factor at the moment because there has been a lot of criticism of the team in terms of defending this season.
"These are plus signs for us. That is three games in a row without conceding a goal so that is a step forward for us."
Ferguson was asked which was more important to him, domestic or European success, and he gave a well-versed answer.
"It is always the same for us. We have to accept all the challenges," he added.
"They are two different types of competitions but very important ones and we need to do well in all of them."