United can cope with injuries - Ferguson
Published 08/12/2012 | 13:44
Sir Alex Ferguson insists he has the numbers to cope ahead of the first Manchester derby of the season.
The Manchester United boss has confirmed Anderson, Nani and Antonio Valencia will miss the Etihad Stadium encounter, while he believes the match will come too soon for Shinji Kagawa and Nemanja Vidic is unwilling to risk another setback after spending virtually 12 months on the sidelines with major knee problems.
Yet Ferguson does not view the absences as a handicap, more of a predictable inconvenience ahead of a big game. "I know we have some injury problems but we are not short of a squad," Ferguson told MUTV.
"I have plenty of experience to bring in. I rested Darren Fletcher against Cluj on Wednesday and just brought him on for the last 10 minutes.
"Michael Carrick will be back in. I also have Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.
"That is what big squads allow you to do."
The Vidic situation is an interesting one. Ferguson has repeatedly stated the Serbian's desire not to push himself. However, he is training and his presence could prove to be the answer as Ferguson tries to find a solution for his side's defensive frailties that risk being exposed by a City side than boasts numerous attacking threats.
In addition, with Aleksandar Kolarov ruled out and Gael Clichy doubtful, Antonio Valencia could be a potent weapon, with both Gary Neville and Bryan Robson pointing out in the build-up that the South American's absence could have a negative effect on the outcome from a United perspective.
And for the Red Devils, victory is important, not only to open up a six-point lead on the most obvious threat to their Premier League title hopes, but to end a cycle of depressing results against their neighbours.
"The fact City have emerged over the last couple of years, and won the league last season, you know they are going to be our main competitors, so a positive result there would be a big boost," said Ferguson.