London - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson confirmed on Friday that Wayne Rooney will miss a further two weeks with a knee problem.
has been absent since the 1-1 draw at Swansea due to the injury, which
United initially expected to keep him out for a fortnight.
has still not been able to return to training and has now been ruled out
of the trip to West Ham and the home game against Liverpool the
Ferguson, who has struggled with defensive
absences throughout the season, insists his squad can cope with Rooney
being sidelined but is frustrated to be without the England striker at
such a vital period.
He said: "Wayne Rooney is still injured.
We're surprised it's longer than we thought. We expected him back
training but he's not. It's nothing serious but if looks as if he'll out
for another two weeks or so.
"He won't be fit for that I don't
think. It's nothing serious, he just got clipped behind the knee, and we
sent him for a scan but nothing really shows on the scan and he's still
"Hopefully two weeks will sort it but it's a loss and
although we're in great form you want your best players available for
the big games coming up.
"We've got West Ham, Liverpool and
Tottenham the week after that and the FA Cup hopefully after that so
it's a tough period and you want your best squad available. We've not
had that all season anyway so it's not as if we can't cope, we will."
build-up to the weekend's action has been dominated by a training
ground clash between Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and striker
The pair had to be pulled apart after a confrontation on Thursday and the incident was captured by watching photographers.
Carrington training ground borders City's but the Blues' property is
surrounded by a public footpath that enables photographers to see in,
despite large protective screens.
Even for Champions League away
matches, United now train at Carrington whenever possible before flying
abroad, rather than doing their work at the opposition stadium.
Ferguson admits that being able to train in privacy is vital for a manager.
added: "You're protecting the possibility of your success. Do ICI send
an email to Bayer chemicals telling them about their new discoveries in
drugs or whatever?
"Do the major companies tell their opponents
what they're doing? I'm sure they don't. Football has got a media
profile and cameramen want to be at training sessions which I think is
"It's very difficult for the coach to do work related
to a game because you don't know where the information can go. It's a
disappointment and it's hard for a coach.
"I think it's stopped at
Real Madrid under Jose (Mourinho) but the press were in every day. It's
what they expected and I know there are a lot of clubs in Italy where
the press are there every day.
"Fortunately at our place we can
guard against that to a decent degree. Sometimes we get a photographer
over in the woods but we've put these wolves in there! They never come
The United manager takes his side to West Ham for an FA Cup third round tie on Saturday.
He admits he is frustrated by the club's recent record in the competition, which they have not won since 2004.
said: "We've had some difficult ties and you hope you get a home draw
and it's something you can navigate and get to the next round. The
closer we get to Wembley the better we become.
"Rio has been with us 10 years and not won the cup, amazing. We'll have to do something about it."