It is going to be a pretty busy day for Sir Alex today with first team training and the unveiling of his statue later on this afternoon.
Speaking at the pre match press conference this morning ahead of tomorrow’s visit of QPR, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the latest team news.
Sir Alex on the latest team news…
“Wayne Rooney is fit and has been training all week which is good for us. Jonny Evans will hopefully train today but I don’t know if he will be available. Smalling should be available. He had a small shoulder injury the other night. I wanted to play Jones anyway and he did very well in his first game. Nani is not available yet. He has got a problem with his hamstring.”
It is great news that Wayne Rooney is fit to face QPR. He hasn’t played in the last two games and we haven’t scored in either, losing both 1-0. That’s no coincidence. You don’t realise how important Wayne Rooney is to Manchester United until he isn’t playing – having his vision, energy and ability spearheading the attacking play gives us another dimension. Without him, we’re all too predictable and struggle to make a lot of opportunities.
As for the question around Jonny Evans, it is great that it doesn’t throw us into a defensive crisis. With Chris Smalling fit to play and Phil Jones making his return midweek against Galatasaray, we finally have defensive options.
Sir Alex on QPR, Norwich and the league…
“Hopefully we can get back on track tomorrow after the disappointment of last week against Norwich. We want to get some momentum going up to the New Year so winning games now is important. I haven’t seen a team run as hard as Norwich did in my life last week. They deserve full credit for that.”
As badly as Manchester United played at Carrow Road, Norwich did put in an extremely disciplined defensive display that they rightfully were rewarded for. It was a game that was coming – we have been poor at the start of most of our matches this season and have avoided punishment with inspired comebacks but we couldn’t pull another one out of the bag last week.
With games against lowly QPR and Reading in the next two weeks, we really do have to build up some speed going into the derby against City on December 9. It was the title decider last year and while it is too early to call it that this time, it is certainly the most important game of the Premier League season so far.
Sir Alex on Chelsea…
“Everyone feels for Roberto Di Matteo. Quite rightly too. It’s amazing when you consider he’s won the Champions League. You would have thought they would have waited to let the guy try and win a Club World Cup.
“A few weeks ago we were thinking it would be a three-horse title race. That’s not out of the question. Chelsea have a big squad and lots of experience and they’ve brought in a couple of young players in Hazard and Oscar. They have a sprinkling of youth coming through too. You can’t dismiss them. Benitez has been trying to get a job for a long time – I hope he’s lucky on Sunday too!”