Champions League

United wait on new dad Rooney

2009-11-02 19:06
Wayne Rooney (AFP)

Manchester - Sir Alex Ferguson will leave it late before deciding whether new father Wayne Rooney features in Manchester United's Champions League group game against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Last season's winners will book their place in the knockout stages of the competition if they defeat the Russians.

But England striker Rooney, who has scored nine times for club and country, is a doubt as his wife, Colleen, gave birth to the couple's first child on Monday afternoon.

"We will just have to wait on that one," said Ferguson at his pre-match press conference, which was held just before news broke that Rooney had become a father.

Rooney's absence would be a setback to Ferguson, who will be forced to field a patched-up side for the Group B encounter.

Rio Ferdinand (calf), Nemanja Vidic (calf), Ryan Giggs (hip) and Park Ji-Sung (knee) are all out while striker Dimitar Berbatov is also a doubt after a kick on his kneecap during Saturday's win over Blackburn.

Ferdinand, who is fighting to be ready for United's big Premier League showdown with Chelsea next Sunday, has received criticism for his form lately but Ferguson insisted he was confident the England defender would bounce back.

"No player likes to be criticised," added Ferguson, whose side sit at the top of the group with three wins out of three.

"We all like to be loved and want an arm around our shoulders at times. But Rio will come out of it, I'm quite sure of that."

Meanwhile, Michael Owen believes he can use the Champions League stage to force his way back into Fabio Capello's England plans.

Owen has not played for his country since the defeat to France in March 2008 and has never been more than a peripheral figure under Capello.

But the 29-year-old, who is set to start against CSKA Moscow, hopes a prolonged Champions League campaign can boost his chances of a recall ahead of next summer's World Cup.

"I've played for England and I would love to play for them again," said Owen, who has scored three goals since joining United in the summer.

"But it's something really I don't think about because I concentrate on playing for Manchester United.

"That's the bottom line. Yes I can influence it by playing well and playing in the Champions League has got to be a help.

"But first things first. I want to do well for Manchester United and the rest will take care of itself.

"I genuinely go to bed thinking I've got to play well the next day for Manchester United and win games for Manchester United. I don't think if I score or I play well or I do this. . ."

Owen was given a rough ride by fans of his former club Liverpool when he returned to Anfield with United last week.

Despite that he said he felt settled at United and was loving every moment.

"I feel like I have been playing here for a few years - not a few months," added Owen. "I have loved every minute of it.

"I'm really pleased the fans have taken to me and are singing my name. I'm loving every moment of it."

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