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The 70-year-old took to the matchday programme to discuss his views on the situation surrounding his French left-back and Liverpool's Luis Suarez

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested Patrice Evra has been "castigated" by some for his role in the racism incident involving Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

"My biggest regret is the way Patrice has been castigated in some quarters for standing up to racism," The United manager wrote in his programme notes ahead of the clash between the two sides at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The Manchester United boss did insist, however, that he wanted both clubs to draw a line under the issue. He said: "My own feeling is it that it is time to move on...as far as we are concerned, it's over."

Evra was racially abused by Suarez, who was subsequently handed an eight-match ban, during a heated league match between the two sides at Anfield in October. The pre-match build-up has centred largely on Suarez's return to face Evra and the inevitable boo-boys around Old Trafford.

Both managers had tried to defuse and divert attention away from the issue when quizzed in their press conferences this week, as they instead chose to talk about the match itself.

The widely-anticipated clash between English football's two most successful clubs kicks off at 12:45 in Manchester.

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