Fergie’s message to City over squad fitness

Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson is set to have a fully-fit squad in a fortnight with Tom Cleverley due back on Sunday and Antonio Valencia in Bilbao.

The Manchester United boss, speaking after his side’s 3-1 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane, gave MUTV an encouraging fitness bulletin that was clearly intended as a title warning to rivals Manchester City.

Anderson was back on the United bench following a recent knee issue while Michael Owen has resumed training as he looks to regain full fitness before the end of the month.

Ferguson expects Chris Smalling to shake off his head injury in time to play in the Europa League last 16 first leg against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday, but the big news is that Cleverley and Valencia will return in the following two matches.

“The good thing is I’m getting players back,” he told MUTV.

“Anderson is back now, Cleverley will be fit for next week [against West Brom on Sunday] and Chris Smalling will be back for Thursday [against Athletic Bilbao].

“Valencia should be back for the away trip the week after. If we’ve got a full squad it gives us a better chance [to win the league].”

Only defender Nemanja Vidic and midfielder Darren Fletcher remain long-term casualties for United while Danish goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard should be back before the end of the month as he recovers from an ankle injury.


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