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Veteran boss admits all he can do is "keep fingers crossed" that his players do not pick up knocks on international duty, but praises decision to play fixtures on a Tuesday

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he is anxiously hoping none of his squad return from international duty carrying fresh injuries.

The possibility of players getting injured while representing their countries is an unavoidable risk for most top flight managers, but it is Europe’s top clubs, whose squads consist almost entirely of international players, for whom it is the biggest concern.

Sir Alex admits it is down to pure luck whether or not his players return from international duty fit and ready for the resumption of the domestic season.

"You've just got to accept it," he told MUTV. "There's nothing you can do about it.

"Over the last year, we had Paul [Scholes], Gary [Neville], Ryan [Giggs] and Edwin [van der Sar] who had retired from internationals so we had the benefit of having those players for weekends.

“Now those players, bar Giggsy, are away from us so most of the players are going to internationals.

"We have to keep our fingers crossed that they come back healthy. Sometimes we're lucky, sometimes we're not. It's not in our hands.”

However, the United manager did reveal he is pleased by the decision to play the last batch of internationals on Tuesday evening, as it gives him more time with his players ahead of their trip to Bolton this Saturday.

"The only benefit is the internationals are now Tuesday fixtures and that gives us an extra day to prepare for weekend games,” he added.