Ferguson insists Rooney injury won't derail United's season
Alex Ferguson has heaped scorn on the notion that Wayne Rooney's ankle injury could wreck Manchester United's season.
United face Chelsea in a potential Premier League title decider at Old Trafford this lunchtime, with their manager claiming that it would take more than the loss of their top striker to derail their pursuit of a record fourth successive championship.
Ferguson said that Rooney would be sidelined for two to three weeks after suffering minor ligament damage during the 2-1 defeat away to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
But having been without key men Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Edwin van der Sar, among others, for long periods this season, Ferguson was adamant that the absence of Rooney, their 34-goal forward, would hold no fear for his players.
"I'm sure they are not going to let this upset them in terms of what's ahead," said Ferguson yesterday. "They know the incentive (against Chelsea). They know the incentive of Wednesday (in the second leg against Bayern).
"Do you think they are honestly worrying about whether Wayne Rooney is going to cost them -- by not being there? Not at all. There's enough ability in this team to win without two or three of our players."
Ferguson believes that, with United having won five of the six Premier League and Champions League matches which Rooney has missed this season, they have proved they can cope without him.
"They've done that a few times," he said. "He is a loss. You want all your best players available in every game, but if you look at us this season, it's not been the case.
"We've been missing defenders, struggled through and stumbled to the point where we are a point ahead in the Premier League, in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and have won the League Cup. So we're there." (© The Times, London)