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21 Aug 2009 15:21
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed he will not venture into the transfer market this month despite a new injury setback for Rio Ferdinand and his club’s current lack of goal scoring form.
Ferdinand will be out for up to a month after the latest examination of the thigh he injured in training last Saturday—news which will also come as a blow to England manager Fabio Capello.
The latest time frame—double initial predictions—puts the veteran United star out of Capello’s squad for England’s friendly against Slovenia and crucial World Cup qualifier against Croatia at the start of next month.
It also adds to the injury problems that have plagued United’s defence in the pre-season and the first two games of their title defence.
Ferguson can, at least, call upon Gary Neville, a substitute in the surprise midweek defeat at Burnley, and Nemanja Vidic for the weekend game with Wigan although it is a sign of Ferguson’s current predicament that he is prepared to throw Vidic into the fray despite no match action since injuring a calf in pre-season.
“It has been established Rio will be out three to four weeks,” said Ferguson.
“Experience is important and the kind of experience that Gary Neville would bring is obviously great experience.
“And Vidic’s performance levels since he has been with us have been outstanding. You always want that in your team and we’ve got that back tomorrow.”
United’s start to their attempt to win a fourth consecutive Premier League title has been far from convincing with one goal and three points from games against newly-promoted Birmingham and Burnley.
Yet Ferguson, who is constantly second guessed because of his failure to sign an obvious, big-name replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, insists he has faith in his existing squad and does not feel the need to add to it before the window closes in ten days.
“I have made the point, this is a good group of players,” said Ferguson.
“We have dominated the last two games of football although we would have liked to have scored more goals.
“Our ratio of goals last season dropped for the first time, it was our poorest for 15 years in terms of goal difference.
“That was the issue last year and it’s going to be the issue this year unless we step up to the mark.
Ferguson has taken heart from history and his team’s traditional slow starts to campaigns. But he is all too aware that United cannot afford too many more errors if they are to win the Premiership title for a record fourth consecutive year.
He added: “You can be philosophical if you like but, at the end of the day, there is a certain reality.
“And the reality is we can’t lose too many games in this league and we’ve already lost one.”—AFP
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