Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Ferguson eyes defensive reinforcements

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will regain key defenders for the UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea.

Ferguson will have both Rafael da Silva (hamstring) and Jonny Evans (suspension) back for Wednesday night’s first-leg at Stamford Bridge.

Experienced central defender Rio Ferdinand has trained all week, but Ferguson remains unsure as to whether the 32-year-old will be fit to play.

“We have had some injury problems in the last few weeks, as everyone knows, particularly in defensive positions,” Ferguson said. “Hopefully that’s coming to an end.”

“Ferdinand has been training for over a week now. Whether he is ready for this game, I am not sure, but he is experienced and he’s a fantastic footballer.”

“In a defensive situation we are getting better and hopefully that’ll be the case tomorrow.”

Ferguson said that both Wes Brown and John O’Shea were back in training while revealing that striker Wayne Rooney missed part of Tuesday morning’s session because of a bruised shin.

The Scottish manager said Cristiano Ronaldo was the only player missing from the squad that beat Chelsea in the Champions League final three years ago, pointing to the experience the likes of Michael Carrick, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic had gained since.

Full-back Evra said the team always performed against Chelsea but struggled to leave Stamford Bridge with a result, evident in the fact that United’s last win at Stamford Bridge was back in April 2002.

“I have a lot of respect for Chelsea,” Evra said. “Every year I think they are the most dangerous rival for winning the title.”

“But it’s strange because we always have the sensation that we play very well against Chelsea, but in the end at Stamford Bridge, we lose.”

“The key in those types of games is concentration, because we play better than them, but we have to concentrate into the last minute.”

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