Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled defender Nemanja Vidic out of both the Champions League match against Cluj and the Manchester City match this Sunday. The Manchester United manager does not want to take any chances on the fitness of the club captain.
Ferguson previously stated earlier in the week that Vidic was on course to feature for the Red Devils in Wednesday's Champions League match with Cluj at Old Trafford. That would have put Vidic well ahead of schedule as the Serbian defender was believed to be out until at least the New Year. Now however, Ferguson is opting to use caution with Vidic, ruling him out for not only the Cluj match but also the Manchester derby on Sunday. Vidic is still in need of more high level training and cannot return to action until he is fully fit.
"I don't think Nemanja will play," Ferguson said. "He feels he needs another few days' training so he won't be available. He's not far away. He's training well now but I think another few days will bring him on better. If he doesn't play tomorrow there's no chance he'll play in the derby game."
Although Vidic looks unlikely to play, United's defensive problems continue to plague them after letting Reading put three goals past them last Saturday. United's attack has been able to bail the team out of some potentially embarrassing losses but if the defense continues to leak goals, they will be punished by big teams such as Manchester City who United play away this Sunday.
"I think we're getting punished when the ball's going into our box at the moment but we should be defending far better, albeit Reading produced some fantastic balls into the box," Ferguson said. "We should be expecting better. It's a worry. If we perform like that on Sunday then God knows what's going to happen to us. When you see the goals against-we've lost 32 already-I can't remember us losing so many goals before Christmas."
Ferguson also shared some good news on the injury front concerning long time absentee Shinji Kagawa. Kagawa injured his knee and was thought to be out until after Christmas but the United boss has said that the Japanese midfielder is now close to a return. Kagawa will miss the Cluj match but could make the bench for the City encounter. With Nani and Antonio Valencia still out, the news will come as a very welcome boost for United's midfield and attacking options.
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