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Inexperience - But Neville Returns

Gary Neville is fit and in contention for Manchester United's crucial Tuesday night Champions League clash against Villarreal. The England defender was left out of the Utd squad for the victory against Charlton at the weekend as an extra precaution after he came through 60 minutes unscathed for the reserves last Thursday.

Ferguson has revealed the influential player, who has been tipped to take over the captain's role vacated by Roy Keane, is now fit for a return to the squad.

United still have a long list of players missing including Welsh wizard Ryan Giggs with a fractured cheekbone, Gabriel Heinze and Quinton Fortune with knee injuries as well as injury plagued Louis Saha who is suffering from a hamstring problem. Alex Ferguson has admitted that the team are now lacking experience for the vital clash. If Utd lose and Lille beat Benfica, that would spell the end of this seasons' Champion League prospects.

Ferguson said: 'At this moment in time, we do not have enough experience and that is a handicap. If you look at the graph of teams who win the European Cup, they are mainly very experienced teams with an average age between 28 and 30. You can't say that about us at the moment. What you can say is that we have incredible ability. In the next two or three years we hope for experience and consistency to go with that ability.'

Manchester United squad for Tuesday from: Van der Sar, Howard, Neville, O'Shea, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Brown, Pique, Richardson, Smith, Fletcher, Scholes, Rooney, Ronaldo, Park, van Nistelrooy, Rossi, Jones.

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The Journalist

Writer: Site Staff Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday November 21 2005

Time: 6:24PM


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