Sir Alex Ferguson: Defensive injuries are giving Manchester United a hard time

The manager is hoping to make it to the international break without any further knocks to his depleted back four while midfielder Tom Cleverley is aiming for more goals
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson feels his team are having a difficult time with three out of his five first-choice centre-backs currently injured.

Phil Jones (knee) and Chris Smalling (broken metatarsal) have each spent a prolonged spell on the sidelines with club captain Nemanja Vidic facing more time out after undergoing knee surgery on Tuesday.

This leaves only Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans as Ferguson’s remaining fit centre-backs and with three matches to go until the international break, the Scot is hoping the two can make it through the schedule unscathed.
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He told reporters: "Everyone knows the situation with our defenders.

"We are having a hard time with that.

"Nemanja Vidic being out is a blow to us and we simply cannot take a risk with defenders.

"We just hope if we can get through the next two league games it will give us a little breather and we can start to get one or two of them back."

Of the injured three, Chris Smalling is likely to be the first to return to full fitness, but this weekend’s match against Tottenham will come too soon for him.

There is better news offensively for United though, with Wayne Rooney set to make his Premier League comeback after suffering a gashed leg two weeks ago and midfielder Tom Cleverley opening his goalscoring account for the club in the League Cup on Wednedsay.

And the England midfielder admitted that his lack of goals had started to become a bit of an issue for him.

"It [not having scored for United] has been playing on my mind a little bit," said Cleverley.

"I have always scored goals when I have gone on loan, so it was bugging me that I had not been doing it for my club or my country.

"I have got the first one out of the way now. Hopefully they will all come at once."