Sir Alex Ferguson confirms team news ahead of Aston Villa match

by Sam Peoples

Speaking at the pre match press conference ahead of tomorrow night’s visit to Aston Villa, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the latest team news.

Sir Alex on Jonny Evans…

“We hope Jonny Evans will be okay for Saturday. He is a doubt, not a serious one though. It’s a lot to ask Chris Smalling to play Wednesday and Saturday. It’s great he’s back and he’s come through the [Braga] game well. We’re monitoring the situation with Jonny – if he doesn’t make it Chris will have to play.

Hopefully Jonny will be fit for Saturday because it would indeed be a tough return for Chris Smalling to play two full matches within the space of four days having only just returned from injury. The good news is that there is no news on Rio Ferdinand so he should be fit to play.

Sir Alex on Nani…

“Nani is out with a tight hamstring. He should be okay in about 10 days. It’s not torn, it’s just tight. Everyone else is fit.”

Nani being injured doesn’t really change anything for the squad but it casts a real cloud over his future at Manchester United. His ex-manager said this week that he needs more game time in order to progress back to his best, so this injury was ill timed for him. With a potential January departure looming, this won’t do Nani’s confidence any good.

Sir Alex on Manchester United’s strike force…

“I don’t think it’s a problem relying on Robin van Persie. Last year we lost on goal difference – I don’t expect us to lose on goal difference again – Robin may make that difference. You’ve seen the way young Chicharito has started this season – he’ll get 20 goals plus. Wazza will get there too – he’ll get 20 goals plus I’m sure. It’s a healthy combination we’ve got there.”

I agree with Sir Alex – there’s no chance we are going to lose this years title on goal difference. At this rate, it looks like Robin van Persie will be firing more than 30 goals again this season and with Chicharito and Rooney in support, our goal tally is sure to be one of the best in the league. Add a hungry Danny Welbeck into the mix and our strike force looks like the best in the league.

Sir Alex on Saturday’s game against Aston Villa…

“Although we have a great record at Villa Park we’d never take things for granted because we’ve always had to perform there. It’s been a good ground for us as a team and I’ve always enjoyed going there. It’s one of those traditional grounds and there’s always a good atmosphere there and we always have fantastic support.”

Sir Alex on qualifying for the knockout stages in the Champions League…

“We’re delighted to get through in the Champions League. We found the game [in Braga] difficult but that’s an indication of how teams prepare – they just sat back and hoped we’d make mistakes. We lost the goal from the penalty and I thought it was going to be very difficult after that.

“There was no indication we were going to win the match but then I brought van Persie on and it made them come out a bit and from then on we went on to win it.”

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