Belfast Telegraph

Ferguson refuses to panic

Sir Alex Ferguson insists there is no need to panic at Manchester United's growing injury problems.

With Darren Fletcher sidelined indefinitely with a chronic inflammatory bowel condition and Nemanja Vidic ruled out for the rest of the season with his cruciate ligaments so badly ruptured the swelling has still not gone down, United have suffered two body blows in a week. In addition, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Michael Owen and twins Rafael and Fabio will miss Sunday's trip to QPR.

Yet Ferguson continues to maintain he has enough cover to render a trip to the January sales a waste of time, and he said: "We are not panicking. You have to be tempted if the right player comes along but they are not there so what do you do? There is no point crying about it. You have the injuries and you deal with them."

He added: "We have players who are capable of wearing the red jersey and we have complete confidence they can do well."

Ferguson is down to a single experienced central midfielder in Michael Carrick, although Ryan Giggs, Phil Jones and Park Ji-sung have shown they can operate in that area.

There may also be a role for 18-year-old French starlet Paul Pogba, so often likened to Patrick Vieira but whose first-team experience is limited to three substitute appearances in the Carling Cup.

Yet, despite arriving from Le Havre in 2009 amid huge controversy and being a key figure in United's FA Youth Cup-winning exploits last term, Pogba's Old Trafford future is under a cloud.

Italian giants Inter Milan are interested in acquiring his services and Manchester City have also been linked with the teenager.

Contrary to previous reports, which suggested Pogba's contract expires in the summer, Ferguson revealed United have a 12-month option on the present deal. However, talks over an improvement are not progressing smoothly.

"Pogba has an agent who has obviously become a bit difficult," said the United boss. "But we are negotiating and we want the boy to stay."


From Belfast Telegraph