Speaking at the pre match press conference this morning ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Reading, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the latest team news.
Sir Alex on Vidic…
“It would be nice to play him on Wednesday in the Champions League game against Cluj. I wouldn’t be adverse to playing him.”
It is indeed great news that Nemanja Vidic has returned to training but, as I said last night, we can’t afford to rush him back from injury for the second time in a row. This season, we have been horribly exposed at the back and we have conceded first in far too many games. We might not have been punished for it so far but we will be if it continues. The sooner we get Vidic back fully fit the better, but there is a fine line between rushing him in too early and bringing him back at the right time.
Sir Alex on Nani, Valencia and other injuries…
“Nani and Valencia are still out. Nani will be out for four or five weeks. It’s a hamstring injury and you have to take your time with it.
“Antonio should be fit for next week. He’s got a hip injury, which is painful, but getting better.
“Nick Powell has had a virus but should be okay for tomorrow and Giggs had a slight hamstring strain but should also be okay.
So we are going into the Reading game with only one fit winger again in Ashley Young and he isn’t exactly in the best of form. That indicates that we are likely to play with a narrow formation once again. Anderson stole the show against West Ham on Wednesday but Tom Cleverley looked a little rusty due to lack of game time. Playing both from the start is what I’d like to see tomorrow because at the beginning of last season, we saw how devastating they can be when they play together.
As for Nani being out for another four to five weeks, that is a really massive blow. Hate him or love him, he is an individualist and every team needs an individual; that certain player who can pull something magical out of the bag when you need it the most. He is unpredictable when he plays and that is a great players most dangerous asset.
I can’t understand people moaning when he misses a shot or fails with a dribble because I would rather see someone trying and failing something than not trying anything at all.
With Nick Powell and Ryan Giggs unlikely to start, we should be able to cope with those minor injuries but I’d like to see Powell getting as many minutes from the bench as possible. He showed against Galatasaray how good he is for an 18-year-old – and as for Giggs, he is best utilised as a game changer from the bench anyway.
Sir Alex on the Reading game…
“I think away games are getting more difficult in the Barclays Premier League. Norwich is a good example of that. They made it a difficult day for us and we expect the same at Reading.”