Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson addressed the media a day earlier than his usual Friday morning slot, as United prepare for a top vs bottom clash with lowly Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. Ahead of the important game, Ferguson spoke of the injury situation at the club, including big news on Phil Jones, and about United’s opposition, as well as giving his take to the media on the title race.
On Phil Jones
“Phil Jones is the one we are really concerned about in terms of the Real Madrid game. We’re working hard on it and I’d say he has an outside chance – no more than that. He won’t be fit for the weekend.
“He tackled awkwardly. He tackled with the outside of his foot. He has dangled his foot in there so that is why he has ended up with the injury he has got. But he has the courage and willingness to tackle. Bryan Robson was exactly the same. Bryan couldn’t see danger and neither can Phil. That is a lot to do with the courage they have. You are not going to take that out of them. I wouldn’t even attempt that.
“He did an incredible job against Real Madrid. The great thing Phil has got is that he doesn’t care who he is playing against. There is no fear about playing against anyone. We will have to wait and see. The Madrid game is two weeks away. A lot can happen in that time.
“When you look at Phil’s tackle, it is the tackle of a young man. He was going in too brave. He was unbalanced and ended up with a sore one. He’s an outside chance for Madrid, that’s all. Other than that, everybody’s fit for QPR.”
“With Harry’s experience and his ability to judge players, he will have a better chance that most in that situation [battling to avoid relegation], we’re going down there to win, though. That’s what our job is. There is an absolutely brilliant spirit in the place at the moment and a good determination about us. We have to treat these games as we would Real Madrid or anyone else. It has to be won. We want to win.
“We have a problem picking teams at the moment but that’s where we want to be. QPR are fighting for survival and we know it is going to be a hard game. That is what we need anyway. We need to keep the awareness on making sure we do our job right.”
On the title race
“My experience of being in this situation is that teams drop points,” he explained. That’s a fact. It’s unavoidable. It’s a tough league. At the moment we have good momentum. The only thing we can do is try to win our next match and see where it takes us.
“The fact is, City will drop points too. That’s where we are, coming into the run-in. We expect to drop a few points but so will they. To be honest, it’s always a hard run-in in the Premier League. With the right attitude and the right players, we have a chance.”