English Premiership

Fitness boost for Ferguson

2011-12-20 08:56
Alex Ferguson (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes the club's injury problems are finally starting to clear up as he prepares to head to Fulham on Wednesday.

The first half of United's campaign has been dominated by Ferguson contending with one of the worst injury lists in his 25 years in charge at Old Trafford.

His midfield has been hit badly, with Anderson ruled out for the season with a knee problem, Darren Fletcher being given indefinite leave as he looks to overcome a chronic bowel condition and Tom Cleverley currently missing with an ankle injury.

At the back, Nemanja Vidic has also been ruled out of the rest of the campaign with a knee problem, while Rafael will step up his return from a shoulder injury with a run out for the reserves.

But Ferguson, who is also without Michael Owen, was buoyed by forwards Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov returning to his squad for the 2-0 victory at QPR last weekend.

Ferguson has fended off suggestions he should look to add to his squad in January due to the high number of absentees and he thinks the worst of his problems are over.

"The injuries are improving a bit," Ferguson said. "It's getting a little bit better.

"It's good to have those two players (Berbatov and Hernandez) back, and Rafa's training now, he maybe just needs a reserve game.

"Obviously, we'd still like to have Anderson and Cleverley back, and a couple of others, but in the main we're pleased with what we've got at the moment."

Reigning champions United have forced their way back into the Premier League title race over the past few weeks and trail leaders Manchester City, who host Stoke on Wednesday, by just two points.

United also boast the only unbeaten away record in the top four divisions of English football, with six victories and two draws on their league travels.

Ferguson's men have also tightened up their defence following the 6-1 defeat by City in October and they have managed five clean sheets in the seven Premier League matches since.

Northern Ireland international centre-back Jonny Evans, who has replaced Vidic in the side, thinks United's current defensive strength has given them a major advantage.

"A clean sheet is all you can ask for as a defender," Evans said.

"It doesn't matter how you play, if you get a clean sheet you're happy.

"It really helps when the team is working really hard around you as well. The front players and the wide men work hard to make things a lot easier for you."

Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz has warned United he cannot wait to face the champions at Craven Cottage.

The Costa Rican has played the full 90 minutes in Fulham's last three matches and scored his first goal at Craven Cottage in the 2-0 victory over Bolton last weekend.

Ruiz, 26, struggled in the early weeks of this season after joining in a 10.6 million deal from FC Twente in August but he feels he is finally starting to show what he can do.

"I'm really enjoying it here," he said. "I feel really fit and it's very good because I'm playing 90 minutes now and I'm running a lot so it's very good for my confidence.

"Against Manchester United it will be very difficult but we will try to enjoy ourselves, take the game very seriously and try to win."

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora should overcome a knee problem to feature against United but Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, Simon Davis and Steve Sidwell are injured.

Read more on:    epl  |  alex ferguson
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Drop Balotelli: Carragher

39 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals
Fixtures
25 October 2014
West Ham United v Manchester City, Boleyn Ground 13:45
Liverpool v Hull City, Anfield 16:00
Southampton v Stoke City, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace, The Hawthorns 16:00
Swansea City v Leicester City, Liberty Stadium 18:30
26 October 2014
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 15:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, White Hart Lane 15:30
Manchester United v Chelsea, Old Trafford 18:00
27 October 2014
Queens Park Rangers v Aston Villa, Loftus Road Stadium 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who is the best new player in the English Premiership this season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.