Jones boost for United
Manchester United have been handed an injury boost after scans revealed Phil Jones did not suffer a broken cheekbone during Wednesday's 5-0 win at Fulham.
Jones was forced to leave the field after 20 minutes when he clashed with Clint Dempsey and manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed afterwards he feared the young England international faced a spell on the sidelines.
But after scans revealed no break on Thursday, Ferguson believes Jones could feature in the Boxing Day clash against Wigan at Old Trafford. "Phil Jones should be okay for Monday," said the United boss. "We feared the worst but there is no break."
Ferguson confirmed, however, Ashley Young would be sidelined for at least "a few weeks" after he picked up a knee injury at Craven Cottage. Young joins a growing injury list at Old Trafford that has already seen Nemanja Vidic ruled out for the season while Darren Fletcher will miss an unspecified period with a rare bowel condition.
In addition, Rio Ferdinand is set to miss Monday's game after picking up a foot injury in training. Despite their injury concerns United have won seven of their past eight Premier League matches since their 6-1 humbling at home to Manchester City to leave them two points adrift of their cross-town rivals.
Ferguson is determined to maintain that run during a busy festive programme, adding: "It is time to keep our foot on the pedal."
The Scot would not be drawn on the subject of Luis Suarez's ban after the Liverpool striker was this week suspended for eight games by the Football Association for using insulting words towards United defender Patrice Evra - including reference to his colour - at Anfield in October.
"I have nothing to say about that at all," he said.
Ferguson was, however, more outspoken on the torrid reception Steve Kean endured from his own fans during his side's 2-1 defeat to Bolton on Tuesday night. Defeat left Rovers bottom of the table heading into Christmas and, after Kean received a barracking with supporters again calling for him to be sacked, Ferguson revealed he tried to call his fellow Scot to offer his support.
"I have never seen anything as bad as that," Ferguson said. "I feel for the lad. I tried to phone him but he probably quite rightly had his phone switched off. For goodness sake, give the lad a break. It doesn't say a lot for our society."