November 23, 2020

Fergie says United can cope

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Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced his Manchester United squad is strong enough to cope with the loss of centre-back Nemanja Vidic for the rest of the season.

Club captain Vidic damaged knee ligaments during the midweek 2-1 Champions League defeat in Basel that ensured three-times European champions United exited the competition at the group stage.

Ferguson, speaking ahead of United’s Premier League meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers, confirmed Serbia international Vidic would see a specialist shortly but had no hope of playing any further part in the campaign.

Nemanja Vidic gets carried off against Basel

But while the United manager conceded the loss of Vidic was a major blow, he insisted the reigning English champions, currently five points behind leaders Manchester City, had the resources to cope with the defender’s absence.

“We thought the Vidic injury was a bad one and when you saw the replays you knew it was a bad one,” Ferguson said on Friday.

“So he’s out for the season. He sees the specialist on Monday, also to map out the progress once he has the operation.

“It won’t be immediate because the swelling has to go down, so that’s a bit of a blow.”

Ferguson added: “Of course it’s a loss. We missed him when he was out for about five weeks at the start of the season.

“He’s such a dominant character, in particular his defending in the penalty box which is always a strong feature of his game.

“It does mean we’ll have to choose between Jonny Evans and Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. We have the options there. And of course (Rio) Ferdinand.

“Ferdinand had his best game of the season on Wednesday, I thought he was tremendous and that kind of experience from Rio with one of the younger ones I think will be a good combination,” Ferguson insisted.

On Monday Chelsea host Man City with Andre Villa Boas desperate for a Chelsea victory against a top four side.

City, still to lose a league match this season, are targeting the Premier League title according to midfielder Nigel De Jong.

After finishing third in the Champions League and not progressing to the next stage De Jong said: ““We won’t be affected by this setback. Winning the league will make up for this. We didn’t go through in the Champions League, but we can’t let that distract us from our main target — and that’s winning the Premier League.

“We are still in with a chance of four cups. We are not despairing about the season because it’s still early. It’s the first year City were in the Champions League and expectations were high.”

“But in the group expectations weren’t so high because our main target was still the Premier League title.”

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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Barclays Premier League

 Arsenal v Everton, 15:00 (3:00pm)

Bolton v Aston Villa, 15:00 (3:00pm)

Liverpool v QPR, 15:00 (3:00pm)

Man Utd v Wolverhampton, 15:00 (3:00pm)

Norwich v Newcastle, 15:00 (3:00pm)

Swansea v Fulham, 15:00 (3:00pm)

West Brom v Wigan, 15:00 (3:00pm)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Barclays Premier League

 Sunderland v Blackburn, 13:30 (1:30pm)

Stoke v Tottenham, 16:00 (4:00pm)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Barclays Premier League

 Chelsea v Man City, 20:00 (8:00pm)

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