World Cup 2010: Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson unsurprised at absence of both Paul Scholes & Owen Hargreaves from England squad

United boss expects Rooney and Ferdinand to be fit for South Africa...
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that he isn't surprised by the omissions of both Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves from Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man England squad for the World Cup.

Scholes has enjoyed an impressive season for United, chipping in with a handful of hugely important goals - including a last minute winner in the derby against Manchester City that effectively kept the club's title hopes alive at the time.

The 35-year-old retired from international football back in 2004 and despite England manager Capello insisting he offered the experienced midfielder a chance to return to the international fold, Ferguson claims he isn't at all surprised by Scholes' decision to say no.

"No [I didn't expect Scholes to change his mind], I mean Paul made his decision years ago," Ferguson said.

"I think Fabio did the right thing he gave him the opportunity to come back, but he's established with his family, he enjoys his family life.

"I don't think it was a goer."

Ferguson revealed that Scholes did consult his opinion when making the decision and the Scot insists he told the veteran United star to go with his gut instinct.

"Yeah I spoke to him and I said you must go with your gut instinct and his gut instinct was to stay where he was," the ex-Aberdeen boss added.

Asked whether he felt Capello made the right decision in overlooking both Owen Hargreaves, who hasn't played for England since May 2008 mainly due to injury, and Gary Neville, Ferguson backed the Italian's judgement.

"Owen Hargreaves has not had enough football, you couldn't have possibly have picked him and that was always straight forward," he continued.

"[With] Gary it was always a fact that he has had injury problems over the last few years so I am sure Fabio took that into consideration and I think he is well covered for it."

With regards to the fitness of both Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, Ferguson was optimistic that the pair would be fit and ready in time for the start of the World Cup.

"Rio should be okay," he added. "He's had a spell in the last few weeks where we've nurtured him very closely and not pushed him until we get proper fitness in him.

"Once you've got that fitness, and he played for us on Sunday, there's no problem.

"Looking at the strikers in the world today Wayne is up there with all of them.

"Opponents will not be looking forward to playing against him, they'll be worrying about that because he's such a dynamic personality and player."

When pressed for his thoughts on the ideal strike partner for Rooney in South Africa, the Scot claimed Capello's biggest challenge will be whether to play the United front man on his own in attack, or with someone alongside him.

"The challenge that Fabio's got is, he could play with anyone, but he can also play himself which is an advantage," he added.

"There are very few players who can do both. We've done it many times ourselves, playing him on his own because he's got such energy to cover the ground and the speed and power to play against the best."

Ferguson was speaking after having received the Virgin Active Outstanding Contribution to British Sport Award at the Sport Industry Awards 2010.

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