Date:Monday February 15 2010
Sir Alex reveals why Nemanja Vidic has still not returned: he does not feel ready to take part in games.
'He feels he needs to do a lot of training and has been training for the past 10 days but he doesn't feel ready to take part in games.
'It is something we have to be patient with and that is what we are doing at the moment.'
Well that might indicate that not everything is okay with Vidic's attitude. He does not have a psychological fear of another injury which Saha had and which Hargreaves might have, I'm sure and this 'does not feel ready' thing is baffling and unprecedented. Vidic always used to be determined to play whenever possible and in the past he certainly would not delay his own return to action after 10 days of training.
Fergie talked about his desire to keep his Serbian star, though, he has no intention to let him leave this summer, despite the constant speculation and the current suspicions regarding his fitness.
'Of course we want him to stay. He is a great player. One of the best centre-backs in the world.
'Our players are the subject of speculation from time to time. You just have to deal with it.'
True but his claims would carry a lot more strength and credibility if he actually was able to select Vidic. The fact that the Serbian does not feel ready to take part in games is worrying, very worrying because it's very uncharacteristic.
His defensive partner, though, is fit and roaring to go, according to Fergie.
'We have to consider whether Rio will start tomorrow but I think he probably will,' said Sir Alex.
'We feel we've got to the bottom of the back problem. We certainly hope he'll be okay for the rest of the season. He's not missed a training session in the last six or seven weeks.
'We've worked really hard with him and he's worked very hard himself. He's now doing really well with his core work and we feel that will help him in the future.'
I certainly would not relish taking on AC Milan with Brown and Evans as centre-backs even though they do deserve praise for their recent performances. But Ferdinand's return is still a blessing, especially as Milan are also able to call on the services of their world-class ballplaying centre-back, Alessandro Nesta.
Date:Monday February 15 2010
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