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Old Trafford bid to raise roof

ORGANISERS are calling on Manchester United fans taking part in the singing section experiment at Old Trafford to get there early.

A long-standing attempt to generate a better atmosphere for United home games means 1,500 supporters will be located in the area normally reserved for the away contingent.

An anticipated 6,000 following from Spain for tomorrow's Champions League encounter with Real Sociedad has created the space for an initiative spearheaded by various fans' groups and given official sanction by the club.

That the area was heavily oversubscribed when tickets went on sale suggests there is an appetite for such a scheme, even if the desire for a permanent singing section has met with resistance.

"For the big games, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is up there with the best of them but, as with most grounds, that is not the same for the lesser matches," said Andrew Kilduff, co-founder of Stretford End Flags, which has been responsible for the distinctive banners in the stadium.

"The problem is not lack of singing but more that, because of the size of the stadium and the acoustics within it, the sound doesn't travel. You can have fans in different parts of the stadium singing different songs at the same time and none of them really being heard.

"The idea is to have an area of the ground where like-minded fans can be in the same place and, generally speaking, make some noise."

Meanwhile, four key players were missing from United's training session ahead of tomorrow's Champions League match against Real Sociedad.

Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley were absent as well as central defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

Adnan Januzaj was added to the Euro squad as a home-grown player.


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