No pressure on medics over Rooney - Ferguson
Published 08/04/2010 | 14:07
Sir Alex Ferguson insists he did not put any pressure on the Manchester United medical staff to declare Wayne Rooney fit for last night's Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.
After declaring Rooney had "no chance" of being involved barely 24 hours before the game, Ferguson named the England star in his starting line-up for the quarter-final second leg tie.
Ferguson confirmed the decision had only been taken following consultation with his medical team and Rooney, who all agreed the risk to the ankle he damaged during the first leg in Munich a week previously was minimal.
As it turned out, Rooney went over on the same ankle in the first half and was clearly struggling before Ferguson substituted him with over half an hour remaining following the dismissal of Rafael.
Ferguson is confident the 24-year-old will be fit for the Manchester derby at Eastlands on April 17, although he is unlikely to make Sunday's trip to Blackburn.
That assessment should at least ease the concerns of England manager Fabio Capello, who was at Old Trafford last night, with Ferguson adamant the correct procedures had been followed.
"I never force the medical staff into anything," said Ferguson.
"Their job is difficult. It is important they make the right decisions about players' fitness. They made the right decision. The medical staff did not see any problem."
Although Rooney did not add to his 34 goals, he was a central figure in United's flying start, that seemed certain to secure a semi-final berth.
His presence alone galvanised the Old Trafford crowd, which Ferguson also recognised as he went through his starting line-up.
"Wayne was keen to have a go and it did have an impact on the crowd," said the United boss.
"It gave them all a lift."