Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Ferguson looks forward after Liverpool defeat

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is refusing to dwell on finishing second best to Liverpool.

A 2-0 defeat at Anfield saw champions United stay in Chelsea's slipstream at the top of the Barclays Premier League table.

Ferguson is intent on looking forward, not back and was heartened that an inexperienced side overcame Barnsley in the Carling Cup in midweek.

However, he could be without defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, who both have calf injuries, against Blackburn at Old Trafford tomorrow.

Ferguson said: "They will both want to play after the disappointment of last Sunday.

"But then we had the game on Tuesday. You have to get on with life.

"It was good for the young players to go away. Last year the ties were mostly at home.

"It is a different thing altogether and they acquitted themselves quite well."

Ferguson added: "Vidic has been bothered with his calf for a few weeks now. We have sent him to a specialist about it. We will see what he is like today."

Blackburn, whose squad have been struck by swine flu, have lost all four games on the road in the league this season.

Rovers were thrashed 5-0 by Chelsea at the weekend although, like United, they progressed in the cup at the expense of Peterborough, managed by Ferguson's son Darren.

Ferguson said: "I spoke to Sam before the Chelsea game and he had concerns about the flu.

"He had players missing but David Dunn was back during the week and maybe others will be fit. Flu does happen but so far we are okay.

"I am not sure what kind of team Sam will be able to pick but it will be a hard game as it is a local derby.

"While I am told they have a poor away record, I think Sam has had to build a different team."

Ferguson is quietly confident a regulatory commission will overturn Fabio's booking at Barnsley after citing a case of mistaken identity to the Football Association .

Fabio was booked for a challenge on Jamal Campbell-Ryce when the offender was his twin brother Rafael.

Ferguson said: "I did not know about it. The pair mentioned it themselves. It is right (to appeal).

"If it came to January and he (Fabio) got five bookings and a ban then he would feel a bit aggrieved. I don't think there is any issue about it."

Michael Owen staked a claim for a place in the team against Blackburn by scoring his third goal of the season against Barnsley.

Ferguson said: "It was a fantastic goal, real quality. It was a good finish, he showed how quick he is. He did well."

Danny Welbeck, who made the breakthrough at Barnsley, is out of the squad with a knee injury while Gary Neville is suspended after being sent off at Oakwell.

Darren Fletcher has returned to training following a groin strain and could be involved against Chelsea next week.

Meanwhile, Ji-Sung Park is still struggling to overcome a knee problem.

Ferguson added: "We are just having a little issue with Ji-Sung Park and his fitness.

"When he came back from his last trip to Korea he had no problem in the game but during the travelling he developed a swollen knee, which we don't quite understand.

"We have some issues with that."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre