MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has omitted Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra from the squad for Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with SC Braga.
The manager believes he has enough quality in his side to cover for the experienced defender, who are being rested for the for this weekend Barclays Premier League clash at leaders Chelsea.
“I’m not playing Rio [Ferdinand] tomorrow,” Ferguson said on Manchester United official website at ww.manutd.com.
“We have a game on Sunday against Chelsea and it’s a big one for us so I’m leaving a couple of players out.
“Rio and Patrice Evra are the older players – those are the two main changes for tomorrow. Other than that we’ve got a big squad.”
Ferguson also explained that the issue with Ferdinand for refusing to wear a “Kick It Out” T-shirt prior to the Stoke City match has nothing to do with his decision. He said that’s all been squashed.
“The issue’s quite simple,” he said. “I’ve spoken to Rio. I think there was a communication problem.
“He felt I should have spoken to him on Friday and I obviously didn’t anticipate that he’d have a problem wearing the shirt.
“My advice to him was that I always feel a union is stronger than an individual. It’s important he airs his grievances to the right people, to the PFA or the FA. It’s been a communication problem rather than anything else.
“As the manager of a club you lay down policy and you don’t want to see it ignored. That’s where my anger came from on Saturday.
“But we’ve resolved the situation, there’s no lingering problems and we move on. That’s the end of the matter.”
In other team news, the boss revealed that winger Ashley Young will return to the side after he fully recovered from a knee problem.
Nani, Ryan Giggs and Shinji Kagawa will also feature in the game.
“We’ve got Ashley Young back and he’ll be involved tomorrow,” Fergie confirmed. “We’ve got Nani, Valencia, Giggs… plenty of wide players.
“Of course, we also have plenty of central midfield players. So I have an issue in terms of picking the team. Hopefully I get it right.
“Shinji Kagawa didn’t play on Saturday so he can prepare for tomorrow.
“Also, Stoke’s a different team to any other side he’s played. But mainly it was to give him a rest before tomorrow.”